I read this in the mid-1980's and so my memory is a bit sketchy.

In the first book, there is some environmental disaster that's coming up, but the government doesn't want anyone know, so they put the scientists that are aware of the problem on a generation ship and send them to colonize a new world. But really the government is just trying to get rid of them.

In the second book, they get to their world, but it turns out to not be that great. Something about the atmosphere being too thick. They decide to head out to a new planet.

In the third book, for some reason, only the kids remain on the ship and they've formed a quasi-religion based on the instruction video that was left for them. The main antagonist was a sneaky kid that was confined to a wheelchair. There was also an issue of the main character wanted to fix the broken things on the ship, but it was against their religion.

Any ideas?

  • Both our descriptions are pretty vague. Reading the other vague description, I don't think I would have realized it was the same book series, so even though the questions have the same answer, I don't think this is exactly a duplicate.
    – David Elm
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


Ben Bova's Young Adult Exiles Trilogy.

Computer engineer Lou Christopher's life falls apart when the World Government decrees that the project he is working on is too dangerous to continue. Thus, he and thousands of other scientists and their families are sentenced to permanent exile from Earth on a space station. But Lou and several others decide to escape--by converting the space station into a starship.

Exiled from Earth

The world government has taken the difficult decision to exile the most important scientists of the Earth from the planet. Their work is considered too dangerous for humanity so it was decided to send them to a space station where they cann’t interfere with society.

Flight of Exiles

Two erstwhile friends engage in a bitter double rivalry for the hand of Valerie, and for the Chairmanship of the spaceship cum cryogenics laboratory now nearing a possible landfall after a fifty year journey from Earth. The Chairman will be responsible for deciding the people's future (should they breed a generation of giant sulphur-breathing mutants capable of surviving on the inhospitable major planet of Alpha Centauri or continue their search for a more congenial home?), but when Valerie's father is attacked and the relevant data destroyed it becomes evident that one of the contenders is a genocidal lunatic. Even Valerie can't tell which, and if her failure of intuition is as infuriating as her indecisiveness (she loves both Dan and Larry, but Larry a bit more), you can sit back and enjoy the Alpha Centaurian scenery while waiting for the mystery to come to its predictable conclusion. An armchair voyage, comfortably craftsmanlike.

End of Exile

You might not recognize any of this crew from Flight of Exiles (1972) as it's some years and a whole test tube generation later, but their situation will be instantly recognizable to space travel initiates. A primitive priestess whose ceremonial robe is an old electric blanket. . . a set of commandments that is really the tape-recorded last words of Jerlet, before he went upstairs to a healthier, zero-gravity environment. . . superstitious kids who don't realize that their "world" is really a robot-controlled megarocket. One of them, Linc, does realize and learns to fix the machines in time for a final course 'correction and a happy landing on the earthlike planet Beryl. Despite some dismal gimmickry (salvation is effected at the last minute by a matter transfer machine, the ship has been supplied with a zillion year stock of o.j. and soyburgers) and thin personalities (females seem particularly weak-willed, even the wily priestess Magda), Linc's lonely voice of rationality and love of tinkering keep this humming smoothly. Programmed escape.

  • Amazing! My memory was so very vague, and you identified the book anyway. Thanks!
    – David Elm
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 7:47
  • @DavidElm: :) You can accept it by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons. I'd actually answered this question another time, albeit for the third book in the series, so it was still in my head.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 13:22

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