I read only the first 10 pages of a scifi book in 2020.

There is a spaceship with teenagers, but they have never been awake: in order to not endure the stress of the journey, they are growing in a cocoon until the spaceship arrives on a planet.

But the spaceship crashes when she lands, and only a fraction of the teenagers survive, without experience, without guidance.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Was this a physical book or an e-book? Do you recall the cover art?
    – DavidW
    Nov 8, 2023 at 15:51
  • It was a physical book. I do not recall the covert art. Rather dark, as usual for a scifi book. There was no character, perhaps a part of a spaceship. Nov 8, 2023 at 15:53
  • Were they gestating in the cocoons? Or did they have a life prior to them going into the cocoons?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 8, 2023 at 16:12
  • They were gestating in the cocoons. They had absolutely no conscious life before opening their eyes just after the accident. Nov 8, 2023 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


I think this is likely to be Half Way Home by Hugh Howey, published in 2010. The premise is that interstellar colonisation is performed by sending out slower than light ships with fertilised embryos. If the ship lands on a viable colony planet, the embryos are matured to age 30, taught, and decanted as a 'ready to go' colony with the skills and resources needed to build up a new human civilisation. If the planet is not viable, the embryos are incinerated and all records destroyed.

In this case, the planet is borderline. The maturation process is started and they age to 15, but then the 'non-viable' trigger condition is met and the self-destruct starts. About 50 of them (out of 500) make it out of the ship without dying.

The start of the book spends a lot of time talking about tosses of a coin (the likelihood of a viable colony planet is about 50:50), and how if you flip a coin enough times, eventually it will land on the edge.


While it's general hibernation technology rather than cocoons, this reminds me of Remnants by K.A. Applegate.

Remnants is a series of science fiction books co-authored by Katherine Applegate and her husband Michael Grant, writing together under the name K. A. Applegate, and published between July 2001 and September 2003. It is the story of what happens to the survivors of a desperate mission to save a handful of human beings after an asteroid collides with the Earth. Eighty people are placed aboard a converted space shuttle using untested "quack" hibernation technology and fired blindly into space hours before all life on Earth is obliterated by a large asteroid called The Rock. They are then picked up by a large, sentient space craft of monumental proportions known as 'Mother' which is inhabited by various races. 'Mother' can manipulate the physical environment within the craft's limits and often does so. Only a few people placed in stasis actually were alive and capable of being reanimated when they reached 'Mother'.

It has teenagers who have spent the trip in isolation, trying to survive on their own, but it's not cocoons, and it's an alien ship, not a planet, that they land on. I also kind of feel like you would have mentioned the mutations.

  • Thank you very much for your answer. but as you have guessed, this is not exactly the title I am looking for (though an interesting one :)). Nov 8, 2023 at 16:16

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