John Morressy (1930 – 2006) was a prolific author, publishing more than two dozen novels over the course of a two-generation career. Nevertheless, 1973’s Nail Down the Stars is the first novel by Morressy I’ve ever read. Despite the fact that local used bookstores are oddly well stocked with mass market SF of the 1970s and 1980s , I had to resort to ordering this book from AbeBooks via the interwebs. Obviously I am guiltless of authorial neglect, as he seems to be one of those authors whose books didn’t make it to the hinterland of Waterloo Country .
Career criminal and conman Kynon Gallamor wasn’t the kind of man to hide from heavy hitters like Orcull and his henchmen. That is why this book is not about Kynon, but about his orphan son Jolon. To save his grandson from the excessively diligent Orcull, Faxon Gallamor arranges to apprentice Jolon to an off-world merchant. It’s a pity that Orcull is determined enough to ensure that the merchant’s ship explodes soon after launch.