I have forgotten most of the story plot, but I think it starts with a guy being taken from his home planet aboard a ship.

It's not an FTL ship which has a stasis field, chemical injections or something similar causing personal time dilution. The difference from more common stasis is that passengers are not totally suspended. They are just slowed down substantially. Machines are providing them with everything, including food. They guy, taken from the planet, is surprised that the food is cold.

I am totally missing the rest of the plot there, but maybe it does ring the bell?

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    Does "taken from his planet" mean that he is on this journey against his will? Are the passengers being kidnapped, shanghaied, enslaved, exiled? Do they reach a destination, or does the whole story take place on the ship? – user14111 Aug 1 '15 at 5:38
  • @user14111: that's the whole trouble - don't remember and would like to find it again. I believe the guy has won the lottery, as opposed to be taken against his will. Though I am uncertain of where the story goes - just have a vivid picture of part on the ship, but I doubt it's the central piece of it. – Justas Butkus Aug 1 '15 at 6:10
  • I'm remembering the novel as well. A competition among planets for their brightest and most athletic to join the immortal "gods" who travel through space. It turns out they use a drug that slows their metabolism down. – KenM Aug 1 '15 at 12:55

Got it! Charles Sheffield's Between the Strokes of Night. It starts out in present time with scientists trying to eliminate the need for sleep. Thousands of years later, there is limited interstellar travel. On a planet called Pentecost,competition in Planetfest, allows the winners to access to higher standing. Peron, one of the finalists, is allowed to meet the Immortals. Peron is injured and is taken to the Immortals ship. The secret of the Immortals, whose group includes some of the original scientists from present time, is a chemical that puts them into S-space, a super slow time state. Robots run the ship, while they are in that state
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