I can't tell if I suck at Googling or am mixing up a bunch of things... My friend loaned me an audiobook a few years ago and I remember

  • There are parallel stories in multiple times ("fractured tandem" narrative)
  • Sentient pigs are some characters
  • One guy works for some ultra/ultimates(?) (post-humans of some kind)
    • he has a little ship and is supposed to scout worlds
    • finds structures on some alien planet
    • girlfriend kept hostage in some strange contraption
    • his name is that of some religion in another time(?)

It's a part of some series.

  • 4
    Maybe 'Redemption Ark' by Alastair Reynolds or another title from his Revelation Space series. It's been too long for me to remember the details. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 2:07
  • Some points remind me of Doctor Who. Audiobooks, sure, there are plenty. Jumping around in time, yes. Pig people, yes (in Daleks in Manhattan). Post-humans(?), the Time Lords obviously. Little ship, yes, if you count the TARDIS as a little ship. Structures on an alient planet, sure. Companion kept hostage in a strange contraption, oh yeah, often enough. His name though, that eludes me...
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:12
  • I don't recall time travel, just that there are at least two narratives going on that are separated in time.
    – Nick T
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:38
  • Duke Nukem maybe? ;) Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


This is in fact Absolution Gap (2003) by Alastair Reynolds, which has a scout (Quaiche, who forages for alien artefacts) a girlfriend in a strange contraption ( Morwenna in a "scrimshaw suit", trapped in there by Quaiches boss Jasmina), an intelligent "hyperpig" named Scorpio, and is told in multiple times.

Also a religion of sorts plays a fairly big role - Quaiche constructed rolling cathedrals that follow the path of the sun in the sky so they can constantly observe the suns surface in case an alien incursion from another universe that happened early in the novel at the sun should repeat.

  • 1
    Completely agree with this, having just finished Absolution Gap for the third time last week - there is utterly no doubt, given the description by the OP, that this is the answer.
    – Moo
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 11:27

The "pigs" aspect of it makes me think of "Speaker For the Dead" (1986) by Orson Scott Card, the second book in the Ender's Game series.

From Goodreads:

In this second book in the saga set 3,000 years after the terrible war, Ender Wiggin is reviled by history as the Xenocide--the destroyer of the alien Buggers. Now, Ender tells the true story of the war and seeks to stop history from repeating itself. ...

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.