November 23rd, 2010, 04:48 PM
Halp!!! Trying to remember a SF book from late 70's early 80's
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"
- 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.