Hobo that Max
Jones met his first night after running away from home. He shared his stew
with Max but also stole Max's astrogation books. After Max was rejected by the
Guild, Sam helped him get forged records as a spacer and a job in the Asgard.
Sam worked his way to Master-at-Arms in the Asgard, and died rescuing Eldreth
Coburn and Max from the hostile natives of Charity.
He may have been an Imperial
Marine who had gone AWOL years ago.
Union that controlled who could become an astrogator; new members could
join only if they were related to and nominated by current members. They kept
professional information such as star charts and astrogation calculations
Astrogators' Guild Hall
Located in Earthport
next to the spaceport. Max
Jones hoped their records would show that his uncle had nominated him
for guild membership.
Passenger lounge in the Asgard;
equipped with a viewport, and off-limits to crew members but not to officers.
Blaine (no first name)
Captain of the Asgard. He
suffered a mild breakdown from exhaustion after the death of the astrogator,
Dr. Hendrix, and sent the ship through an uncharted anomaly because he failed
to correct a mathematical error. He deteriorated seriously after the ship was
lost, ultimately committing suicide.
Native of Charity;
it resembled the mythological Earth creatures, but was marsupial. Centaurs
dominated several other species on the planet. They attacked the Asgard
refugees, capturing Max
Jones and Eldreth
Coburn and killing several others.
Central Jersey Development Center for State
Teenaged passenger aboard the Asgard,
owner of the spiderpuppyMr.
Chips. The daughter of Ambassador John Coburn, she was being sent home
after being expelled from several finishing schools on Earth. She and Max
Jones became friends. On Charity
she was captured with him by centaurs. They were rescued by Sam
Anderson after Mr. Chips made it back to the ship and managed to convey
their "message". It appeared that she was romantically interested in Max, but
after the Asgard
returned to known space she continued her trip home and eventually married her
[mentioned in passing] An agricultural colony planet, also
known as New Mars, whose saurian native animals could be used as draft animals
but were inferior (at least in their rapport with humans) to horses.
Astrogator aboard the Asgard. He
Jones for astrogator training, and treated him as a protegé. He died of a
heart attack during the layover on Halcyon.
When the ship was stranded on Charity,
the settlement's main avenue was named after him.
Jones' late uncle. A member of the Astrogators'
Guild, he gave Max his astrogation books and promised to register him as
his heir with the Guild but was unable to do so before his untimely death.
Maximilian (Max) Jones
Ozark farmboy who ran away from home after his stepmother remarried and
sold the farm. After learning that his uncle had not fulfilled his promise to
get him into the Astrogators'
Guild, he used forged papers to get menial work aboard the starship Asgard. He
rapidly went from tending animals to training as a chartsman After the ship
was lost through an uncharted anomaly and all others with astrogation skills
died, he successfully piloted the ship back to known space, and was accepted
as an apprentice astrogator by the Guild.
Passenger in the Asgard who
claimed the title "Principessa".
Biff (Monty) Montgomery
Shiftless neighbor of Max
Jones who married Max's stepmother and persuaded her to sell the farm even
though it was technically owned by Max. He threatened Max with a beating for
disagreeing with the decision.
Nellie Jones Montgomery
Jones' stepmother. She sold his farm without his knowledge after she
remarried, even though legally, Max owned the farm.
Transportation system similar to railroads. The "tracks" generated
high-power magnetic fields to power and direct the trains. The name comes from
the rings that generated the magnetic field, through which the trains
Roberts (no first name)
Anderson told Max
Jones the story of an acquaintance who was an Imperial
Marine sergeant until he got drunk, missed his ship, and never had the
nerve to turn himself in; his name may also have been Richards. Sam later
denied having told the story; he may have been referring to himself.
Technical manual of the Guild of Space Stewards, Cooks, and Purser's
Anderson acquired a copy for Max
Jones to memorize to aid his impersonation of a Guild member.
Simes (no first name)
Assistant astrogator in the Asgard,
jealous of his position and resentful of Max
Jones' elevation to astrogation trainee. After Captain
Blaine's death he tried to take command of the ship and had his neck
broken by Sam
Humanoid alien of unspecified origin; a member of the species worked as a
waiter in the Safe
Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein on behalf of her husband, science
fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein, to "pay forward" the legacy of Robert A. Heinlein to future generations of "Heinlein's Children."