While similar questions have been asked before none of them seem to be the series I am looking for, so I'll try to explain the little I remember of it. It is possible that I misremember some things and that everything I recount here isn't accurate but this is what I remember:

It was a story aimed at teens primarily. I believe the main character was a teenage boy? In the book people had colonised most of the solar system (which was set in our real solar system) and built cities, etc, on most planets. The vibe was very steampunk-y though and their main method of travel was using sailing ships but somehow sailing them in space by having a protective bubble form around them at fast enough speeds. I don't remember if it was ftl or not.

Besides this all I remember is that in one of the books (or there might have only been one book) they go to Jupiter.

If anyone has any ideas as to what this could be it'd be very helpful.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year or decade did you read this, and when do you think it might've been published? Also, do you recall anything about the cover? May 26, 2022 at 12:06
  • goodreads.com/book/show/16073073-the-daedalus-incident has too old of a protagonist, but otherwise largely matches. tor.com/2013/06/03/… has some more details.
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 26, 2022 at 12:27
  • 1
    Sun of Suns matches the steampunk vibes on wooden ships in space, but it doesn't involve any of our solar system or speed bubbles of any kind.
    – samuei
    May 26, 2022 at 16:38
  • Maybe Larklight by Phillip Reeve
    – eshier
    May 30, 2022 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


Other than being aimed at teens, "Star Winds" by Barrington Bayley ticks most of your boxes. The first part of it deals with a voyage from Earth to Mars in ships that sail the ether winds.

Another option - one which I have not read - would be the junior novelization of the Disney movie Treasure Planet. This, of course, would be aimed at younger readers.

  • 2
    The trouble with sailing the ether winds is finding an ether bunny in space. May 27, 2022 at 4:01

Colin Greenland's Harm's Way

The setting of Harm's Way (1993) is a steampunkish Solar System replete with wooden sailships navigating the planets. The young protagonist, Sophie Farthing (not a boy, but a tomboyish girl), grows up on a space station, but stows away on a ship to find the truth about her heritage. Her journeys take her to the Moon, Mars and and the Asteroid belt and ends on a frozen moon of Jupiter, where she learns the truth about herself.

The book is not strictly aimed at teens, but it is a rousing adventure that would please teens, I think. Nor is it part of a series, but the universe in Greenland's main work, the Plenty trilogy, shares many traits with that in Harm's Way, though it is leass steampunky.

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