I am searching for a book that I read nearly ten years ago. It was the story of a bunch of space pirates that "float" through space in big generation ships. There was no FTL travel, only very fast "conventional" ships. The people on those ships are basically immortal, because they can somehow rejuvenate their bodies. Another distinctive part of the story was robots that were used to colonize planets. They were controlled from earth via "quantum entanglement" to allow for real time communication with planets that are thousands of lightyears away.

The main story develops around the pirates that capture a princess who is traveling alone in her ship and then start a war against earth. (I don't know why exactly.)

I am fairly sure that the name of the book was "the zone" or something but I can't find it anywhere on the web.

I would really like to read it again. Also I think that it was the first part of a series of three books.

Thanks for your help!!

  • "A Fire Upon the Deep" had a Slow Zone where FTL didn't work.
    – Valorum
    Nov 23, 2016 at 22:31
  • Sadly that was not the book that I am searching. There where no "slow zones" in the story. It was just "normal" space everywhere.
    – steloe
    Nov 23, 2016 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Maybe the 2008 novel Debatable Space by Philip Palmer, published in Germany as Zone? According to the blurb quoted below, it's about a space pirate who kidnaps a sort of galactic princess, the daughter of the "despotic ruler of the known universe". It's the first book in Palmer's Debatable Space Universe series of three books; the other two titles in the series are Red Claw and Version 43.

Flanagan (who is, for want of a better word, a pirate) has a plan. It seems relatively simple: kidnap Lena, the Cheo's daughter, demand a vast ransom for her safe return, sit back and wait.

Only the Cheo, despotic ruler of the known universe, isn't playing ball. Flanagan and his crew have seen this before, of course, but since they've learned a few tricks from the bad old days and since they know something about Lena that should make the plan foolproof, the Cheo's defiance is a major setback. It is a situation that calls for extreme measures.

Luckily, Flanagan has considerable experience in this area . . .

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  • Jay! Thats it!!!! I have been searching very long for it. Thanks very much!!! Did you know that book? Or how did you manage to find it?
    – steloe
    Nov 24, 2016 at 14:31
  • You're welcome! No, I never heard of the book or author. I went to the ISFDB advanced search page and did a Title Search using the settings "Title Type is exactly NOVEL" and "Title contains zone" and "Sort Results By: Year" to get a chronological list of SF titles containing the string "zone". I spotted the title "Zone" from 2008, but it was in German, so I checked your profile and saw that you are in Germany.
    – user14111
    Nov 24, 2016 at 22:39

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