I'm looking for a series of books that deals with humans escaping Earth and having a mother ship full of humans who are being sent throughout the universe to different planets. The ship can transform the humans into whatever type of alien the planet holds. One set of sisters is transformed to cow-like aliens and sent to spy on that planet. All the while the group that's taken the mother ship full of human colonizers is trying to evade/escape the government people from Earth.

The 9 or 10 humans who steal the colonizing ship drop a couple of humans (transformed to whatever the indigenous species is) to the planet to spy...the end result is to try and overthrow the Earth government. The humans that the colonizing ship transform to aliens cannot be turned back into humans ever again so when they take on the assignment to spy they do so knowing that they won't ever be able to be humans again.

  • Do you have any idea for when this series may have been written?
    – Joe L.
    Mar 2 '15 at 17:23
  • no....no idea who wrote it. the ship is piloted by a Chinese girl and the planets they visit they always 'transform' the dna of a couple of humans to match that of the indigenous species in order to spy on them.
    – sheila
    Mar 2 '15 at 17:26
  • I think it was written in late 1980's or early to mid 1990's...possibly 5 novels in the series.
    – sheila
    Mar 2 '15 at 17:28
  • The planets transform the people?
    – Joe L.
    Mar 2 '15 at 17:29
  • It sounds interesting. The idea of radically changing people to fit an alien environment goes back at least as far as Clifford Simak (City and The Werewolf Principle both used the idea). It sounds like someone picked up the ball and ran with it.
    – Joe L.
    Mar 2 '15 at 17:33

This sounds like the 'Rings of the Master' series by Jack L Chalker. 4 Books in the series, Lords of the Middle Dark, Pirates of the Thunder, Warriors of the Storm and Masques of the Martyrs. In these books a group of people are travelling between various colonies looking for a set of rings that can be used to take control of the Master System - a computer system that has taken control of the human race.. They steal a colony ship and use it to collect the rings by transforming crewmembers to the dominant form on each planet. The two cow like transforms are the Chang sisters, a blind chinese girl has a special relationship with the ships AI.

  • OH!!! THIS is IT!!! Thank you so much Scott McDougall. I've been worrying my brain trying to think of this. You don't know how happy you've made me. :)
    – sheila
    Mar 2 '15 at 21:26
  • I had totally forgotten about the rings.
    – sheila
    Mar 2 '15 at 21:27

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