I am trying to remember a book that I read in 85 or 86. it is about a young man with a great talent for math and spacial relations whose family is betrayed and killed by a trusted friend and advisor. The protagonist goes on to fly a ship that he needs to take an addictive drug to gestalt with.

The problem is that the drug usually drives the users insane over a fairly short period of time.

  • 3
    Part of me wants to suggest Dune, but I don't think that Paul Atreides became a pilot.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 5:10
  • It also sounds a little like Kay Kenyon's Seeds of Time, but the main character is a woman.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


I'm thinking Falcon, by Emma Bull, although it looks like it was published first in 1989. Main character's family was betrayed and killed.

How many more people he loved did he have to find here? (...) Only two. It should be easy. He found no other bodies in his family's living quarters.

By someone the family trusted.

[Betrayer's name] looked into his face without warmth -- without any discernible human emotion. "You think I've betrayed you, don't you? I was never yours (...)

He goes on to become what is specifically called a gestalt pilot.

The gestalt is a highly refined interface between the human nervous system and the nearly-living mechanism of a ship's computer (...)

Goodreads has a summary referring to a "deadly drug that destroys his body's defenses."

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