As is often the case, I can recall only some details about the book, not the main plot itself.

  • There were several sets of children on Earth in the near future, separated from their parents for a long time.

  • The parents had jobs in space/another planet. The children wanted to see them.

  • They built a ship - forged a purchase order or something for an asteroid what had been captured and was on earth, then more hacking/forging for laser time to hollow it out, outfit it, and so on.

  • They went off and found their parents, but there was another threat and they had to leave.

  • The parents' base(?) was isolated and armed with 10 laser weapons of some kind, called, I think "p.o.w's" which fired a targeting laser and would then fire if the targeting laser detected something.

  • The children stole/were given three of them and attached them to the asteroid ship.

  • They when went off and...that's all I remember.

This would have been read as a library book in the middle to late 80's. I've a vague feeling it might have been a short series of possibly three books. Equally likely to just have been one, though.

Been trying to remember what it was for a few years now.

  • Welcome to the site. You have a good start here. If you could take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit in any more details, that would be great. Every little bit helps us. – amflare Jan 19 '18 at 21:31
  • You've got literally all I can recall. It was in the UK and at the earliest read in 84. It would have been new, and probably newly published at that time. No character names. Mix of boys and girls. Some siblings, some just friends as the parents were friends of one another. Parents didn't mean to be gone for so long, but it was outside of their control. – Jim Jan 19 '18 at 21:34
  • The pow laser is a strong memory because of the idiotic name. It might have been a different name, but it was a similar idea; TLA making a word, and an equally silly one. Equally, it was more of a forget purchase order than a hack to buy the asteroid. There was a "sad comment from a foreman that they weren't the first kids to think they'd had the bright idea of hollowing out an asteroid to go off and find their parents", but not too them directly. – Jim Jan 19 '18 at 21:39
  • The laser itself was described as a fairly featureless cylinder. No details on power source, though I think it had to be connected to the ships power. It was man portable, though. – Jim Jan 19 '18 at 21:41
  • Sounds like a gun for firing prisoners at your enemies.... – RDFozz Jan 19 '18 at 22:37

It does indeed look like Starstormers. Author sounds right, details look good. I'm not bothered enough to buy a copy to check for sure, but I'm confident it's right

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  • Can you provide the details that match? And you can accept a self-answer 48 hours after asking the question. – FuzzyBoots Jan 20 '18 at 3:10
  • I was trying to close it off after having received what I believe to be the correct answer. The Author sounds Familiar. The cover looks right - from the link found after being provided with the title. I recall the cover matched the novels description well - the text that the ship was made from junk including an asteroid is correct. I'd prefer the commenter who suggested Starstormers 'answered' it, then I'd mark it correct. – Jim Jan 20 '18 at 3:28
  • better duplicate target at: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/108502/… – Otis Aug 27 '18 at 13:41

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