The Zero Stone
and its sequel Uncharted Stars
are Science Fiction
novels by Andre Norton
, about Murdoc Jern and the title Mineral MacGuffin
- Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Diving Lokworm in Uncharted Stars.
- A Friend in Need: Eet saves the Patrolman as well as Jern.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Uncharted Stars. While on the pirate space station Waystar, Murdoc Jern's companion Eet enters the station's air ducts to do some snooping.
- All-Natural Gem Polish: The ship landing turns up crystals.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Jern on the Free Trader ship.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Eet throws two minds together and it's unpleasant for both.
- Blood from the Mouth: How Jern knows Vondar died.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: Jern moves about freely. Even when he's a wanted man in Uncharted Stars, Eet helps him locate a pilot off the records who can be paid in cash.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: How his father was murdered.
- Commonality Connection: Eet and Jern.
- Contrived Coincidence: The captain of the Guild ship knows Jern.
- Corrupt Church: The Green Robes not only practice Human Sacrifice, but influence the "random" selection.
- Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: When he reaches sanctuary.
- Dreaming the Truth: That the Free Traders are hostile.
- Due to the Dead: Eet and Jern discuss it.
- Escape Pod: Used for several purposes.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Downplayed. Jern's father thinks that no illegal connections will help him progress, and hence apprentices him to a man who, unlike him, has none.
- Exact Words: Eet ensures Jern's promise is exactly carried out.
- Heir Club for Men: His father never tried to teach his daughter.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Eet tricks a Guild member into shooting the ceiling and bringing down rock on himself.
- Human Sacrifice: The Green Robes pick out victims at random.
- Hungry Jungle: The planet he escapes to on the Escape Pod.
- Intrepid Merchant: Vondar; Jern was his apprentice.
- In Medias Res: Jern is fleeing Vondar's killers and Human Sacrifice.
- Lottery of Doom: The selection for Human Sacrifice.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Vondar dies shortly before the opening, violently.
- Mineral MacGuffin: The Zero Stone.
- Mysterious Past: Jern's father's.
- The Nose Knows: The natives on the planet hunt mostly by smell.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Jern feigns that fever affected his mind.
- Oblivious Adoption: Until his father's death, he never knew this.
- Parental Favoritism: Jern's family was split.
- The Plague: Scares off the Free Traders.
- The Promise: Jern strikes a deal with Hory.
- Psychic Powers: Eet has many.
- Ransacked Room: When his father died.
- Revenge: The prospect of Jern seeking this does not trouble the Free Traders who get him away; it's nothing to them.
- Rock Beats Laser: The Guild men are wary, even though they have lasers and the natives spears.
- Secret Test: Uncharted Stars. When Murdoc Jern infiltrates the criminal hideout Waystar by pretending to be his father Hywel Jern, a Waystar Veep puts him through a number of tests. With Eet's telepathy to inform him, Murdoc passes with flying colors.
- Seeking Sanctuary: How Jern escaped.
- Species Surname: Eet — name or species?
- Thicker Than Water: His mother justifies her favoritism thus.
- Thieves' Guild: Jern's father worked for one.
- Truly Single Parent: The ship's cat.
- The Unfavorite: His siblings for their father; him for their mother.