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I read a book while in the US for a few months back in the early 1990s.

I remember liking the book, and only have loose bits and pieces in my head.

The main character was a male. I believe it started with him being horribly disfigured and was thrown of a ship. He discovered he could regenerate if seriously hurt. On his journeys he picked up new abilities (He learnt how to speed up and slow down time, just for himself). He could also travel through earth.

I remember a passage where he was with the people that could control time, there was a "statue" of a woman, but it was really a woman who lost someone and slowed down time so much that she appeared to be a statue for years..

I seem to remember some sort of twist with a spaceship at the end, but I might be mixing it up with something else.

I've been looking for this book for over 15 years now without any luck. Any idea what it is?

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A man who can control time, and can regenerate if really hurt. And some sort of spaceship that is easily mistaken for something else. Hm. –  Mr Lister Feb 27 '13 at 8:16
    
Lanik Mueller is not a Timelord! :) –  KHW Feb 28 '13 at 5:42
    
Pretty sure KHW was right that the book you are looking for is Treason. I myself have been looking for this book off and on ever since I read it about 20 years ago. I came across this post because I Googled: sci fi fantasy book politics regneration slow time After reading the Wikipedia entry on Treason I am almost positive that this was the book I was looking for. Hope it's the book you were looking for too. –  user12880 Mar 3 '13 at 8:02

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you are crossing a few details and getting the sequence a little off, you might be talking about 'Treason' by Orson Scott Card. [See also: Orson Scott Card's page on Treason]

The main character (Lanik Mueller) is from a family that regenerates at an unbelievable rate, and, during the course of his story is horribly injured when escaping from an arboreal village, resulting in his already out of control over-regeneration eventually turning him into something monstrous. (He does then travel by ship for a while.)

Later, he

gains the ability to manipulate his personal time [via the Ku Kuei family] (which is where the Frozen Woman comes in) and gains the ability to 'become one' with the planet somewhat [via the Schwartz family], which involves him sinking into the earth. (This allows him to do some genetic manipulation, and he cures himself of the monstrous over-healing issue.)

There is plan to build a spaceship, but

the spaceship is meant to be an impossible goal to keep the inhabitants in control and producing.

Eventually he discovers that one group [the Brittons] is using an ability to

generate illusions / false memories

to attempt to take over the world, and chooses to fight them.

Afterwards, realizing the real purpose of the metals->Spaceship idea, and takes action to sever the planet from the outside.

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I kinda wonder if Treason is in the same continuity as his Pathfinder series. –  Zoredache Feb 27 '13 at 8:33

This probably isn't right, but it's been a long time since I read it too, but the manipulating his own time and superhuman powers reminded me of Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land Doesn't start with him being disfigured but does start with the rest of the crew of his ship dying.

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