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The book was in a space opera/rpg style. The hull was described as being made from a very rare and expensive material that would concentrate and refract laser fire back to the enemy. It would repair by sort of smoothing out like amber after a fight. The ship itself was old and weak with the hull being its major strength.

The captain and crew were sent out to find more tech through a new wormhole as I recall. There was a threat coming. Keeping them there wouldn’t make a difference but sending them out might if they found something. Over the course of the book they encountered various species and fought/allied to improve the ship. In the end they were returning hopefully to save everyone.

I checked his book out from the library as a paperback back around 2000-2005. I remember a golden laser coming from a ship in space on the cover. I think there was a male captain and a female specialist who was put on board who developed some relationship.

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  • Was everyone aware of their stats? Or just the protagonist?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:19
  • It was understood by the whole crew. The hull material was rare and expensive but known
    – Tiv
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:20
  • Doesn't "LitRPG" mean that nothing in the story is really happening, it's all some VR thingy?
    – DavidW
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:20
  • Hmm it was in a rpg arc but not vr
    – Tiv
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:21
  • 2
    It isn't :-p Common, but not required. So everyone is aware of the RPG system underlying their life?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 28, 2022 at 23:54

1 Answer 1

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Could this be Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins or one of the Spinward Fringe Series, by Randolph Lalonde? The series are a bit more recent than your timeline, with the first published in 2008, and the above book in 2010, although parts in 2008 under a the titles Firstlight Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port. You can read Broadcast 0: Origins for free on Smashwords.

In Broadcast 0: Origins, the main character is a decommissioned officer who is reactivated on the advent of a war, following him (and his friends) hacking into the training software for the military/navy base and playing as combatants. During this he and his friends rise to the top of the training software rankings, showing up experienced commanders.

As a result of his reactivation, he is given command of a re-commissioned spaceship (why he wasn't thrown in jail, I don't know), which has reactive armour, capable of repairing itself following damage and being remodeled to re-shape the ship when needed.

In his command he has one female officer who wasn't part of his friend group, who is young and attractive to him and they develop a relationship early in the second part of the novel.

I don't recall anything about a wormhole, but the ship and crew are sent off on a long-term "unofficial" (my term, perhaps "undercover" is a better term) mission to obtain tech that may be useful in the war. This mission essentially puts them on their own resources and in disguise. I think (may be a different story I read at about the same time) at the end they return to their home base to rescue it from an attack.

It is one of those stories where the ship and crew pull through against impossible odds, but come out fighting and enhance their abilities by adding to their ship and personal armaments/equipment after each engagement.

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