Halp!!! Trying to remember a SF book from late 70's early 80's

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by reesescups, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. reesescups

    reesescups New Member

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    Published between 1970 and 1985 or so, it was a book written for young adults. The title was something simple, like just 2 words, it may have been something with "Star" or "Nova" in it.

    The plot is a guy (scientist maybe) who is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to death by being left to die of exposure on a desert planet. But he is rescued and eventually finds out he was framed. It seemed to revolve around some kind of technology that he knew about. At some point I remember they break into a lab using gloves that mimic the fingerprints of other people.

    For some reason I thought of this book the other day and it has been driving me crazy trying to remember what it was.

    Things I am fairly certain about:
    - It was a hardcover
    - It was new enough c1985 to have a jacket with artwork (or at least that edition was)
    - It was not onerous in length, probably less than 400 pages
    - The title was something simple, I keep trying combinations like "Star Light" or "Super Nova"

    Plot:
    - Only the first chapter or so deals with the prison death sentence planet, just enough to set up the rest of the book.
    - The book starts with the protagonist being dropped there. It is not an exile, it is supposed to be a certain death from exposure
    - We know he was convicted of murder, but it does not seem like he had all of the details - maybe from a head injury or memory wipe
    - He is rescued fairly quickly by other people, perhaps a female who arrives on some sort of hovering bike or ship (I seem to recall him seeing dust kicked up in the distance).
    - The book was not cheeky or satirical, I think it took its plot seriously
    - I think it focused more or less on solving the crime, more like a crime novel set against SF backdrop
    - At some point they break into a lab or research facility where he worked using synthetic skin gloves that let them bypass a security system that reads hand prints/biometrics in some way

    Fuzzier Plot Details:
    - He may have been framed for killing either his wife or his mentor
    - The lab/research facility was working on some tech break through, some meta-SF plot like interstellar travel, time travel, or inter-dimensional portals.