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I'm trying to recover a book from my childhood:
- I believe I read it in 199x, maybe early 200x
- No magic. Space sci-fi with hyperspace jumps between stars. The plot is all about jumps. Hyperspace jump destination is "random" and depends on jump starting point. To reach a specific location you usually need to make thousands of jumps in sequence. Paths are precious and were found accidentally or by recon drones.
- Swarms of drones are constantly searching for shorter paths to known stars and back.
- To make a blind jump (from some random point in space) usually means a suicide.
- The protagonist (male) was blinded on some planet and managed to create a kind of artificial eye, using a bird (crow?)
- More to the end of the book the protagonist was forced to make a blind jump on a spaceship with unknown destination and then he managed to return back to Earth using his blindness and camera