What is the name of the book or author in a science fiction novel in which:

Prior to the events in the book: humanity discovered a means of teleporting between worlds and has established a number of colonies or outposts. However, humanity has lost contact with one of these outposts.

The book starts with an agent being sent to planet that is out of contact.

He awakens in a high tech prison cell. He spends a great deal of time attempting to discover a means of escape and eventually accidentally kills himself in trying to escape.

After which he appears in the high tech prison cell again.

The cells floor absorbs his waste and also his dead body each time he dies. My recollection was the floor had a metallic sheen (golden IIRC).

Over the course of the book he discovers that:

  • Aliens have taken over the base
  • His teleportation signal/information was recorded.
  • The aliens are using his teleportation information to generate new copies of him after the old one dies.
  • He slowly tries to learn a little more on how to escape and pass that information on to future incarnations of himself.

He eventually escapes from his cell. I'm vague on this but I think he rescues one or a small number of the base personnel and gets them back to the teleportation unit.

As he prepares to teleport back to Earth, he realizes that the teleportation unit will record this version of him - which the aliens will use to generate another version of him to torture and learn more information from.

He hopes that "he" will not be the one stuck behind.

After teleporting he realizes that until those aliens are defeated, a version of himself will remain the plaything of the aliens to torture or do anything else they desire.

I probably read this book between 2000 & 2008.

  • Some elements of "Lies, Inc." by Philip K. Dick seem reminiscent of the book I have in mind. However, I'm pretty certain this is not the book I'm looking for.
    – Jim2B
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 22:18
  • I offered a bounty on this once, I'll award some points (100?) to anyone who figures out the book.
    – Jim2B
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 1:57
  • Do you remember any of the methods that the protagonist devises to pass messages to himself?
    – Otis
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 0:54
  • No, but I sure wish I did. I'd love to reread it.
    – Jim2B
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 20:27
  • 1
    As point of interest, a Dr. Who episode from last series used this premise, too. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_Sent_(Doctor_Who)
    – eshier
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


It almost sounds like The Stars my Destination. That's got mental telepathy, prison, jaunting (teleporting).

Maybe you are combining two stories?

Here's the plot of Stars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stars_My_Destination#Plot

  • 1
    I could very easily be combining 2 or more stories :( I have read this but had completely forgotten it. It is definitely not the story I was looking for. However, I read this so long ago, I think it's time to read it again :)
    – Jim2B
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.