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I don't remember much about the details of the story, but basically a military pilot agrees to transfer his consciousness into his spaceship (this is proposed to him as a top-secret military project), therefore making his spaceship his new "body". Initially he comments on how much easier it is to maneuver the ship, since he no longer has to worry about how his human body would react to the force of the maneuvers and because the response to his thoughts is instantaneous.

In the story humanity has been at war with an alien race for an extended amount of time, and part of the reason that this project is proposed is because humanity needs a way to explore alien territory. The guy eventually meets a weird "turtle-like" creature, which I think was a subjugated, unintelligent creature serving the initial, antagonistic race. I think he either learns to move into this creature's mind, or somehow allows this creature to carry him, and this allows him to explore the alien homeworld. He starts making observations about how aliens live and communicate...

That's all I remember about the book. I read this maybe some 15 years ago, and I think it must have been either a late 80s or early 90s book. Anybody got any ideas on what it is?

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I don't understand. It takes two minds to mind-meld, right? So his ship had a mind for him to meld with? And how come he doesn't have to worry about what the forces do to his human body? You mean his human body isn't on board? His body is safe at home, while his mind is behind enemy lines, melded to his ship's mind? –  user14111 Oct 16 '13 at 22:18
    
@user14111 I guess I mean his mind melds with his ship, it's literally fused into the ship. And yeah, when he does this he sacrifices his human body... he basically becomes his ship. I've edited the question so that it is a bit clearer. –  vmlm Oct 17 '13 at 0:49
    
I wonder how many people would willingly sacrifice their human form to live forever as the "brains" of a spaceship? To be honest, I'd be tempted... –  Eugene Seidel Oct 18 '13 at 13:21
    
It is actually really interesting. I'm re-reading the book... and while it IS amusing to evaluate it from a solely literary and critical point of view, the premise and its development is really interesting, if incredible. But then again, what sci-fi DOESN'T require some level of suspension of logic in order to be appreciated? –  vmlm Jan 4 at 17:58
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I beleive the book you are referring to is called "The Forever Man" by Gordon R. Dickson.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/280735.The_Forever_Man

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Yes! Thanks a lot! I've been wanting to read this book again for a really long time. –  vmlm Oct 17 '13 at 12:17
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