I'm looking for a book I read some time ago - probably published in the late 90s/early 00s. I can hardly remember any of it, but I will describe it as best as I can.

It was I think set in the future, on an international space station. The docking station registered that a ship had connected with the space station, although the outward cameras showed no ship.

The technician (?), a Russian woman, goes to investigate, and while she is in the airlock she screams and says that something/someone had 'phased through' the outward airlock. The rest of the team hears a strange sort of talking, and then she screams and gets cut off.

I can't remember much after that, other than the team are all sort of separated and spread out throughout the station, and get (I reckon) killed off slowly one by one, I think even involving some mind control where they were not in control of themselves and were killing each other/themselves, and they don't know who or what any of it is until the end-ish.

It was very chilling, it scared the pants off me when I first read it (must have been 16) and I had to sleep with the light on for days, lol.

The same author released several other psycho-thriller sci-fi stories after, and I remember one of them was set in Egypt. I'd really like to read them again, so I would appreciate any and all help to find out who the author is/the title of the book.

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Pretty sure this is not your story, but I'm pretty sure you would enjoy reading "The Searcher" by James H. Schmitz. It's included in a Schmitz collection called The Hub: Dangerous Territory by Baen Books, and they kindly offer that story as one of the free samples to hook you in and make you buy the book. Read the free sample here: baenebooks.com/chapters/0671319841/0671319841___1.htm
    – steveha
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 8:11
  • Your described story is similar in some ways to the novel Phantoms by Dean R. Koontz. In other ways it is very different, e.g. Phantoms is set on Earth and not a space station. But... I think Dean R. Koontz maybe did write a thriller set in Egypt. So could this be it? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantoms_(novel) -- isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?4005
    – steveha
    Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 8:22
  • My first thought was "Nightflyers", by George R. R. Martin, but it's really not that close a match. What country did you read this in?
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 3:03
  • Sounds vaguely similar to Event Horizon, but as far as I can tell that was never a book.
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 22:54

3 Answers 3


This sounds like "Gravity" from Tess Gerritsen. The book is first published in 1999 and had a story about a female research physician who starts to work in the International Space Station. If I remember correctly, a single-cell organism infects the whole crew, and the first one to die is an astronaut who feels something moving in her ear after she re-enters the space station after a space-walk outside.

Tess Gerritsen also wrote a book titled "The Keepsake" about an Egyptian mummy, so it could be her you're looking for.

  • Is there a match on the OP's specification of an invisible ship that docks or the main character being Russian?
    – Otis
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 1:32

I think steveha is on the right track with Dean R. Koontz, but I think the title in question is actually "The Taking". Been a while since I read it, but your description is very similar to what I remember. Only difference is that the space station portion is but a small piece of the story.


It could possibly be "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clark. I just thought it reminded me of this book a bit, though its been a long time since I read it.

  • 2
    2001 is from the '60s, IIRC, and there are no Russians in the Discovery. "2010: Oddysey 2" would fit better, but not the kill-one-by-one theme.
    – rodrigo
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 20:54

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