What I remember or think I remember. A guy goes on a spaceship to another world by accident, because he is in trouble. The ship is owned by an Asian group and they are going to attack another Asian group when they get where they are going. So everyone has to be trained to fight.

They train in some kind of virtual reality against ninjas or Samurai; not sure exactly who, but they are so outclassed that they keep dying. I do remember someone tries to surrender in one of the training exercises and the Samurai or whatever turn their weapons way down and torture the guy for hours. They basically are trying to teach them to fight no matter what. If you get shot, keep fighting till you die. After a while they start getting better, but something happens and the guy we are following gets put in stasis.

He might have been put in stasis for trying to get to the other side of the ship; not sure. Forgot to say the ship is divided: the Asian side is blocked off from the other side which I think is American.

Then they get to the planet and he is almost useless because all his teammates can slow time with their minds, so they can fight more effectively because of their training. They called what they could do something, but whatever it was called eludes me right now.

I think one thing this book was supposed to do was show how different the Asian people think versus the American people. But it also showed we could learn and be better than we are.

Thanks for any help.
I read this in the late 90's to early 2000's; it was a paperback but I got it from the used book store. Not sure about this but the cover might have been a spaceship with a flag and someone in body armor and a sword or a blaster; maybe both. It’s been a long time and my memory is fuzzy.

1 Answer 1


This might be Dave Wolverton's (AKA David Farland) 1989 novel On My Way to Paradise.

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From the Amazon link above:

In a world of ever-worsening crisis, Angelo Osic is an anomaly: a man who cares about others. One day he aids a stranger. . . and calls down disaster, for the woman called Tamara is also a woman on the run, the only human with the knowledge that will save Earth from the artificial intelligences plotting to overthrow it.
Fleeing the assassins who seek him as well as Tamara, Angelo seizes the only escape route available: to sign on as a mercenary with the Japanese Motoki Corporation in its genocidal war against the barbarian Yabajin. Jacked into training machines that simulate warfare, Angelo "dies" a hundred times. . .and is resurrected to fight again. In a world of death, he dreams only of life-and the freedom to love once more.

The main character, Angelo Osic, is a doctor (of sorts, he's more of a pharmacist who uses nano tech "drugs") On the run after helping a mysterious woman, Osic joins a group of South- and Central-American "chimeras", genetically augmented superhumans created to fight an earlier war. The chimera mercenaries have been hired by a Japanese corporation to fight another Japanese corporation on a disputed colony planet. The book is divided in three parts - the events leading up to his time on the ship, his time training on the ship, and the events after landing. The Latino chimera mercenaries are kept separate from the rest of the Japanese crew and soldiers on the ship. His shipboard training time is curtailed when he's put in stasis for his involvement in a failed mutiny. The advanced training he missed includes battle drugs and mental disciplines to help soldiers think and move faster.

Here's the "slowing time with their minds":

Chapter 22:

“We’ve learned much,” the chimera said. “You were frozen before training really began. You did not spend time studying your own individual kinesthetics through the holographs, learning not to waste a move, learning the spins and throws and drops necessary to defeat the weapons of the Yabajin. You were still studying how to achieve munen, the state of no mind, the state of the living corpse. You did not progress into the higher mental states necessary for battle—Instantaneity or Perfect Control. The great genius of the samurai comes from their knowledge of these states of being—”
“Pardon me, but what do you mean by Instantaneity?”
The chimera looked at me thoughtfully. “Perhaps you have had a moment in your life, a moment of great fear when your life was in jeopardy, and time seemed to stop. I once lived such a moment. In an alley in Temuco during the riots a human came and put an ancient revolver in my face and pulled the trigger. The hammer was cocked, and when he pulled the trigger it began to fall. Time seemed to stop. A car passed on the street before me, and a woman was looking out the window and watching. I remember her face perfectly, her ruby lips shaped in a circle of surprise. I saw the steam rising from a sewer grate across the street, and a man in a store there was turning out the lights. I looked into the frightened eyes of the young man who planned to murder me and knew he could not be more than fifteen. And all this time the hammer was falling and I thought, ‘When the hammer drops, I die.’ So I reached up and put my finger in front of the hammer and it never dropped. That is Instantaneity, living life in a moment. It is a state of mind a warrior can learn to induce at will. It is one secret of the samurai. Beyond this lies Perfect Control—the ability to achieve a measured heartbeat, to stop one’s breathing, to put all muscles under voluntary control.”

  • I was just about to post this question when I read through the possible answers and saw that someone already had and had already answered it. Thanks.
    – HyperNym
    Apr 2, 2021 at 1:34

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