Unorthodox Engineers

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The Unorthodox Engineers were the subject of a series of science fiction short stories by Colin Kapp. They were a misfit bunch of engineers who solved problems of alien technology/weird planets in the future. The stories had a very large grain-of-salt-type humor.

They were commanded by maverick engineer Fritz van Noon and included, amongst others, a convicted bank robber as quartermaster (on the entirely-sound grounds that he was likely to be the most capable person for the job).

The Unorthodox Engineers originally appeared in various British SF magazines:

Dobson Books published a collection of the stories as The Unorthodox Engineers {ISBN 0-234-72072-7} in November 1979.

The short story "The Pen and the Dark" was adapted into a text-based computer adventure game by Keith Campbell, with text by Colin Kapp. It was published in 1984 by Mosaic Publishing with the packaging for the game including a book copy of the original story.


  • Stableford, Brian M. (2006). Science fact and science fiction: an encyclopedia. CRC Press. p. 156. ISBN 0-415-97460-7.