I got a stack of sci-fi books when I was a kid, around 1982. Some I remember: Childhood's End, World Out of Time, Venus on the Half Shell. But I’ve forgotten this one, about a kid who goes into some sort of space training program.

One of the things I remember clearly is the description of his quarters, similar to those Japanese shelf hotels. It was a very isolated description, which never left me. I also believe there was a love interest, perhaps an alien woman.

It wasn’t a YA novel nor was it space academy or anything like that. I don’t think it was a “popular” author but it could have been. It also might have been in a book of short stories because I had a few of those but I think it was a full length novel.

For some reason I remember a blue cover, but I could be wrong. I’ve looked at so many lists and book covers over the past few months trying to jog my memory, but so far I can't recall.

I would love to find this book.

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    Can you remember anything about the story besides "kid goes into space training program, quarters similar to a Japanese shelf hotel, love interest with alien woman"? Does the kid meet the alien woman in astronaut school, or on a mission to another planet? Is there a space war and space battles in the story? Is the kid training for military or commercial or scientific space missions? – user14111 Sep 29 '14 at 7:51
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    The academy theme was fairly common for Sci -fi, and the description of Japanese shelf hotels is common for any form of military housing, even in present day boot camps. If you can remember what the space training was for, it could really help narrow down the search. For example: Becoming a pilot, leading ground troops, running a command, etc... Also, what kind of training was provided, such as hand-to-hand, marksmanship, computer hacking, etc... – Firebat Sep 29 '14 at 7:54
  • Also any names or places or anything distinctive that might help jog memories. – John Rennie Sep 29 '14 at 10:23
  • @Richard I left the list of other books in on purpose, as it shows what kind of books it had been grouped with, providing a (however meager) clue. – SQB Sep 29 '14 at 12:59
  • @Sqb - Feel free to roll back. I may have edited a bit aggressively. – Valorum Sep 29 '14 at 13:17

Could it be Enders Game? It was originally a 1977 short story before being made into a novel in 1985.

From wikipedia:

children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are trained at a very young age through increasingly difficult games including some in zero gravity, where Ender's tactical genius is revealed.

The housing was bunk style - not sure about "Japanese shelf"...

Another thing that doesn't fit is the love interest, so this likely isn't it, but I will post it just in case.

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  • i'm fairly certain now it was a novel, and i would have read it around 82 or 83, so an 85 publication date is too late. Although the short story is from 77 unless i had a collection that it was in i don't think i would have read it. Thanks ! I appreciate your input! – psychotronic_zuul Oct 2 '14 at 3:49

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