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I was so happy to find this site - I have read the other question/answers about similar plot books but they didn’t quite match the details of the one I am looking for which is as follows:

  1. Plot is about a prisoner sentenced to either death or exile on a prison planet.
  2. Book was smallish (5”x7”ish) hard bound with a white or off white colour and from memory was in a section of similarly bound books so may have been part of a series or publisher collection.
  3. Book was slim, probably less 100 pages.
  4. Protagonist finds shelter in a cave after landing.
  5. Protagonist either befriends or allies with an alien, maybe a wooly or hair covered alien that to my early mind seemed like a Chewbacca/Wookiee, though publication likely preceded Star Wars.
  6. That’s about all, other than the vague memory that it had a sad ending, like either the protagonist or his ally didn’t make it off the planet or were killed.

Thanks in advance to anyone who has memory of such a story on such scant detail - read it 40 years ago so I don’t remember it much, but I often remember the experience and excitement of first picking out the book from our small, rural elementary school library.

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  • Apart from the prison planet part, it sounds a lot like Barry Longyear's Enemy Mine. There, a human and alien enemy crash on a harsh planet and learn to cooperate to survive, eventually becoming friend. It has the prequisite sad ending. Another difference from your memory is that the alien is reptilian, not wooly. Jun 14 at 7:40
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    @KlausÆ.Mogensen the only thing that seems to match here is "befriends an alien". For example Jeriba Shigan was reptilian, not hairy. Jun 14 at 7:44
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    @DanielRoseman: I did mention that "Jerry" was reptilian, not woolly; no need to repeat that. Other similarities are: Novella, published before the 1980s, ending where one of the two didn't make it off the planet. Given that the memory of the story is admittedly "vague", I thought it might be a distant possibility, worth a comment, if not an answer. Jun 14 at 7:49
  • The white part in a series could imply a choose your own adventure so you may want to rule that out. Perry Rhodan science fiction also has white borders in a series. Not claiming any plot matches. Jun 14 at 8:01

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