I read a book way back in the 70's/80's. Been looking for it for a few years, it boils down to:

In the future Earth maintains an iron grip on its colonies around other stars. It does so with a variety of weapons including a "hellbore" that can dig down to a planets core and destroy it. There is a rebellion against it, and Earth has a method for creating special soldiers that are surgically rebuilt with a "mesh" or "grid" inside their bodies that lets them turn into "ghostlike" beings that can easily defeat normal humans. The process is radical and kills most humans who go through it.

The Hero is one such soldier who falls in love with his trainer, a woman who I can't exactly remember but seems to be connected with a powerful parent. The Hero goes rogue and I remember him landing on some planet at one point to get in touch with the rebellion.

There is also mention at one point of a space system of mining ore that shoots the ore toward a refining center, forming highways of such deliveries.

I really want to find it but don't know where to start, it's been a long time.


The only mention of a Hellbore is in the Bolo series by Keith Laumer. I can't find any specific mention of ghost soldiers or tyrant earths.

I can see however the term has leaked into the the Warhammer 40k universe which features 'special soldiers' of a sort, and a 'tyrannical' empire.

I hope that helps.

  • Space Marines aren't exactly `ghostlike´ :-) – Sebastian_H Dec 4 '12 at 15:59

Hellbore is a Bolo-series weapon by Keith Laumer, but the Concordiat of Man wasn't tyrannical and there's no mention of (presumably ground-based) "super-soldiers"

Could it be one of the Larry Niven novels set in his Known Space universe:

  • Tyrannical Earth government
  • Super-soldiers known as the "hellflare" goup

The main description of the hero and his "super-soldier" suit has strong echoes of Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton, but it's far too recent.

Another possibility is Old Man's War by John Scalzi, although it too is very recent.

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