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It is a short novel, with a red cover (I think).

Two guys and a girl (who is kidnapped and held unwillingly) are aboard a spaceship. One of the guys is evil and abuses her. The story takes place mostly on the one ship.

It's written in alternating points of view. It is a short book and a quick read.

I want to say that it was written by a well-known author, but that the story was a bit unusual for the writer.

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    My impulse is to suggest Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant because it was uncharacteristically full of sex for him at the time and it does involve a female character who gets abused, albeit by space pirates, but I've never actually read the book series, so I cannot directly comment. – FuzzyBoots Jul 14 '14 at 14:39
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    Not a novel, but could it be Fred Saberhagen's "What T and I Did"? Prisoners are held aboard a sentient "Berserker" ship. The evil guy "T" is split into two personalities when a surgeon divides his corpus callosum to treat a brain injury. The story is available online here: alfalib.com/book/read/id/90563 – Will Feldman Jul 14 '14 at 18:12
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    Sounds like the first book of Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap series, The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story. Read the series a long time ago, but I do remember the first book was quite short, the others were much longer. Here's the wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_Story – rjrapson Jul 14 '14 at 19:15
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    @FuzzyBoots "uncharacteristically"? – Chris Sunami Feb 4 '16 at 14:43
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    @ChrisSunami Yes. Which was one of the later ones after Piers Anthony got annoyed at how the Xanth books were being classified as children's literature and decided to end the Adult Conspiracy. Before that, it was more a matter of winks and nods. The other one that most people remember is Firefly. Oh goodness, Firefly... the book where I really started understanding that Piers Anthony has an unhealthy obsession with young female sexuality. – FuzzyBoots Feb 4 '16 at 15:00
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This may be The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story by Stephen Donaldson. The cover was mostly red or red/orange - like an explosion.

To quote Wikipedia:

On the way back to Com-Mine, Angus activates Morn's zone implant, allowing him to repeatedly rape and abuse her. Unwittingly, he also starts to form an emotional attachment to her.

Back at the station, Morn makes contact with another pirate — Nick Succorso, captain and owner of the ship Captain's Fancy, who she sees as a potential rescuer. She aids Nick in framing Angus for stealing station supplies, and Angus is arrested. Before he is taken away, though, Angus gives Morn the remote control to her zone implant, in exchange for her silence. With the control in her possession, Morn is effectively a superwoman and is able to disregard fear, pain, or fatigue; but by accepting the control she is also complicit in Angus' crime against her.

Morn leaves with Nick in his ship. Nick, however, turns out to be every bit as nasty as Angus.

  • Does it satisfy the other criteria? – Möoz Jul 14 '14 at 20:12
  • Not as I see it: it is told exclusively from Angus Thermopyle's POV; and, aside from being one of his few spacefaring stories, isn't all that uncharacteristic of his writing. – can-ned_food Mar 13 '17 at 17:44
  • It's also long. – Buzz Jan 30 '18 at 19:30
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Could it be EE Smith's The Skylark of Space?

DuQuesne and Perkins kidnap Dorothy, Seaton's fiancée, and take her into space. At one point Perkins attacks Dorothy but DuQuesne tells him to cut it out.

Seaton and Crane set out in pursuit and the next few chapters alternate between the two ships.

The only difference I can see is that they have another woman, Perkins' ex-Secretary, with them. But she plays a smaller part and could have been overlooked.

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Possibly 'Think Blue, count two' by Cordwainer Smith. Available here in Project Gutenberg https://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/smithcordwainer-thinkbluecounttwo/smithcordwainer-thinkbluecounttwo-00-h.html

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