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Science Fiction Books/Sci-Fi book that im losing sleep on...


Dear Sue Kayton,

Im hoping you might be able to help me as all my google searches havent turned up anything... This is driving me nuts.

The Sci-Fi novel in question, follows a male protagonist. He ends up joining some space infantry/marine unit, fights, and then gets captured by the alien species. As a POW he learns about their culture and essentially learns their language and how tonfight with blades that are sheethed on their forearms.  

There is an aspect of hacking and how he must wear contacts to be able to 'dive' to do it and to become a spy/assassin, etc.

Another thing i remember is that humans who sympathized with the alien race were called symps in a derogatory manner, and the aliens had a derogatory term called Strit.

Thats all i can remember.

Thank you, and hopefully you will be able to help me.

sorry, never read this one.  Good luck finding it.

Closest I can think of is the excellent book Enemy Mine by Barry Longyear, about a POW who learns the culture and language of the enemy.  Long out of print, you can get the book on  There is a sequel.  The original book and the sequel are combined into a book called The Enemy Papers, also by Barry Longyear.  It was made into a terrible movie.  Skip the movie, but read the book.

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Sue Kayton


Engineer who has read thousands of science fiction books and short stories. Can recommend stories on specific subjects and comment on technical feasibility. Especially good at older out-of-print books and authors.

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