This is one of my father's favourite books, he read a library version in the 80s or 90s in the Netherlands and has found it online, so he knows what he remembers is correct/exists. So it's not from after 2000, but could be older dan 80s. I would like to give this book to him as a surprise, so I'm trying to piece together the title/author without having to ask him.

What I remember is that it's about a space traveler who reaches a planet where he finds people that seem human, but he hardly hears/sees them communicate. I believe he was ill at ease and tried to stay out of their way, but is captured in the end. I think the clue was that they actually were humans who colonized the planet after he left Earth. Because his ship was very slow, it took him much longer to get there than the humans who left after him and had much faster ships.

I believe the title of the book was one word and a very normal word (like bug, insect, spider or something else) and the writer's name was pretty normal as well, probably very American.

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    Since he likes it so much, it might make him happy if you asked if you could read the e-book. That should get you the title and author at the very least without spoiling the surprise. – Spencer Nov 25 '18 at 16:42
  • Just to be sure, you tagged this with time-travel, but was there "actual" time travel? From what I read this is just a couple of ships going faster than another one, not going back or forward in time, isn't it? – Jenayah Nov 25 '18 at 17:36
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    yeah, I wasn't sure about the time trivel either, but from what I gather from my father it initialy has a time travel feeling because the first space traveler doesn't know whats going me on. And it is possible that I don't remember the ending correctely, it could be that the second ships actually time traveled or traveled faster than light. But if the tag makes it to confusion, I wil gladly leave it out – Kim Smeenk Nov 25 '18 at 17:41
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    He problably read it in Dutch, but the title he found was in English – Kim Smeenk Nov 26 '18 at 11:45
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    Oh, and thanks for the edit of the tags! I read the guidelines on story id questions, but onfortunately nothing else comes to mind. I guess it's a little harder, when I'm recounting the memories of my father in stead of my own... But many thanks to the answers so far, I guess this was kind of a hail mary and if it doesn't work thats fine as well (but I would be such a nice suprise if it does work!) – Kim Smeenk Nov 26 '18 at 11:51

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