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This was a 'young-adult' SF novel I read in the late 1970's, about the same time I was reading Voorloper by Andre Norton, Madeleine L'engle's Wrinkle In Time books and the Dragonfall 5 young adult novels. so I am not sure if it is actually one of the Dragonfall 5 stories, but I can't confirm it is or isn't by reading available synposes online.

As I recall, the story went something like this...

* SOME SPOILERS BELOW *

A young person and sibling - I think female protag and younger brother, but not sure - is scheduled to visit their aunt and uncle on another planet but to make the voyage in a timely fashion, must utilize this new consciousness transference technology to transmit their consciousness across the cosmos to a host replica body at the destination. After arriving at the destination the protagonist is impressed by their new body and is aware of the only way to tell they are in a replicant body is a small seam, scar or patch on their back, I think near the top of their spine, just below the collar of whatever clothing they wore.

The mystery begins when the protagonist realizes their hosts also sport the same scar when they should legitimately be in their real bodies. The plot thickens when the protag or sibling finds a room of people in stasis when their replicant counterparts are roaming the same planet, and is subsequently caught in the act. Sadly, I do not remember anything else, including the reasoning behind the deception.

I was quite young when I read this novel, so I probably got some of the details mixed up, but would love to know the name and author of the novel if anyone remembers.

3
  • If we're thinking of the same book, you probably have some of the details mixed up. From what I recall - Only one person was visiting one host (aunt or grandmother?), although he meets someone his own age. The bodies are robotic - the seam is where they load the memory chips. The room with all the bodies is just the standard 'in-stasis' room, but it's significant because it contains his host, on the same planet that the 'replicated' body is on (so what's the point?). The host is supposed to be rich, which was the motive. Can't for the life of me think of the author, though. Sep 4 '12 at 17:42
  • That could very well be. From what I also recall is there were B&W illustrations throughout the book, as I remember an image of the scar/seam on a replica's back and also a drawing of the protag finding the room of people in stasis. Definitely a novel for young readers I'd say between 8-14 years old. I probably read the book between 9 and 12, so at the latest this book was published around 1980.
    – Joey T
    Sep 4 '12 at 19:11
  • see also scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/206751/… (about the series as a whole)
    – Otis
    Mar 8 '19 at 2:07
8

I believe you are looking for "My Trip to Alpha 1" by Alfred Slote from 1978. Read this book as a teen and have fond memories of reading it. This was in the "Robot Buddy" series.

"http://rads.stackoverflow.com/amzn/click/0064401669"

Traveling by VOYA-CODE, it takes Jack only a few seconds to get to the planet where his aunt lives, six million light years away. Jack has gone to Alpha I to help his aunt move to Earth. But Aunt Katherine is acting very strangely, not like herself at all. And Frank and Ruth Arbo, the couple who manage her fantastically wealthy mining company, seem downright sinister. What on Earth-or Alpha I -- is going on?

1
  • Glad I could help.
    – beichst
    Jan 11 '13 at 2:04

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