When I was rather young I had picked up a bunch of SF books at the library, one had a kind of interested plot about an undercover Space Cop of some sort who had somehow been turned into a slave.

It might have been part of a series. The main character was female and she had some sort of pain / pleasure implant. She had been turned into the slave of some sort of Space Pirate whom she was intent on bringing to justice or something.

It was rather a graphic book, both sexually and when it came to violence. It also wasn't what you would call well written. Though at the time the idea of a future with some sort of Space Patrol going undercover to capture Space Pirates had fascinated me.

Recently someone mentioned the same book and neither of us could remember its name.

We were both pretty sure it was written in the 80's or 90's and most of it took place on a space ship where the girl was kept hostage. We think that the Pirates hadn't known she was an undercover Space Cop and she may have been drugged and implanted with this device. She might have been a crew member at first (maybe an engineer) that the Captain turned into a slave, we're really not sure about that. We can't even remember how it ends for sure...

Can anyone help us?

1 Answer 1


Is it Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap Series?

It starts off with an ugly and evil space pirate walking into a bar with a beautiful woman and gets complicated, dark and (in one scene) nauseating. I think it ends with a galaxy-spanning threat involving several alien species.

The woman, Morn Hyland, suffers from gap-sickness - a mental aberration caused by interstellar travel. In her case, it turns her homicidal and self-destructive, with very tragic results. In an effort to deal with this, the pirate Angus Thermopyle implants her with a remotely controlled brain implant.

I remember it as being a typical Donaldson novel. That is, a book set in a vast and interesting world but spoiled by having completely unlikable protagonists.

Wikipedia entry for the first book.

By the way, I'm not kidding about the "nauseating" bit. This book is one of only two I've read that caused me to put down the book and think about running to the nearest toilet. Those of you who've read it probably know the scene I mean. For those of you who haven't read it - be warned.

  • That looks like it alright. From the descriptions it looks like I only read the second book, The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge. Thanks! Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 5:58
  • It's edgy fiction, no doubt, and not for all. I found it quite engaging, myself, and interesting in the way characters rotated through character archetypes...a bit contrived, perhaps, but fascinating.
    – Beska
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 12:40
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    Why does it spoil a book to have a protagonist that is interesting, complex, complicated, torn, realistic, & written for an adult audience? Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is an excellent example of this. The world has many more people that exhibit character traits such as his then an Aragorn who is perfectly noble/good. We aren't either good or evil. We have both in us, & at various times in our lives either one may come out. It's interesting as I watch shows on TV w/my GF like "defiance" she asks me if that's a good/bad guy..it's more complicated than that. @Greenstone
    – JMFB
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 1:08
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    @JMFB: It spoils them for Greenstone Walker, and it largely spoils them for me too. Thankfully we're all different, and we all like many different things. I found Thomas Covenant difficult and ardurous to read, simply because TC was such a moaning dick. I started the fist Gap book and put it down too. Donaldson is an acquired taste, I have friends that adore him and don't understand how I don't love him, much like how I don't understand people who don't adore Joe Abercrombies First Law series. I read and loved some SD short stories, he's a hell of a writer, I just don't like his characters. Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 12:35
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    @jmfb, my dislike of Donaldsen's characters has nothing to do with good or evil. It has to do with my desire to reach into the pages and slap the stupid out of Thomas Convenant. I have read all of the books in both the Unbeliever and Gap series, but my intense dislike of the characters spoilt my enjoyment of the books a lot. Especially for the Gap series, where all the protagonists are sociopaths. Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 23:33

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