(Found) Crew are lifelong soldiers; must enter 'elfstate'

Orcadian

Lover of hard science fiction
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We are aboard a warship with a crew that has been fighting an unidentified anemy for generations. People have become genetically-engineered soldiers who can take on a variety of forms. They are born human and later (or repeatedly, if they survive) undergo a metamorphosis into whatever form of soldier is needed at that time. Soldiers undergoing their transition ('elfstate') can admire each other but none can form a lasting liaison, because everyone is born with a single purpose and the desire to fulfill it. As soon as their transition is complete they leave their ship and start fighting the enemy. The bleakness of this endless war without love or family, and that neither side can win, has stayed with me. I'd love to read it again, if it rings any bells for someone.
 
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Thanks, Tachyon! I can't find it as an audiobook or e-book but a (careful-famously full of spoilers!) glance at Goodreads reviews does sound promising. Do you mind me asking what search string you used? I have of course looked myself but drawn a complete blank. Clearly I need to improve my technique. :sneaky: :)
 
I got interested in the description too -- especially the "elfstate" -- and looked for it too, in both printed and audio versions, to see a description.

"Elfstate" was such an unusual word that I searched for that too, added to guesses like "shapeshift" and "metamorph". Left off word endings so that it would be open and not get only "metamorphose" or "metamorphosis".

So the only audio version I found was on Audible, with free trials and all that.
 
It sounds interesting, I've just now downloaded a copy.
One day when I've time I'll have a go at it :)
 
It sounds interesting, I've just now downloaded a copy.
One day when I've time I'll have a go at it :)
Danny, may I ask where you were able to D/L a copy from? (PM me if grey zone!) These days I'm limited to just a few pages (eye trouble) but sampling Hardfought here and there should soon tell me if it's the story I remember.
 
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So the only audio version I found was on Audible, with free trials and all that.
I've been tempted by Audible's trials in the past but the experience of trying to cancel & get refunded after accidentally signing up for Prime (years ago but never forgotten!) has made me very (very) wary of Amazon!

In my ideal world a free trial should be free, i.e. you should not have to provide card details upfront. It's up to the offerer to make their deal so attractive that you do want to sign up! As it is, 'free trial' offers feel to me like horrible, sticky spiderwebs, with the corporate giant squatting menacingly in the corner...
 
I've been tempted by Audible's trials in the past but the experience of trying to cancel & get refunded after accidentally signing up for Prime (years ago but never forgotten!) has made me very (very) wary of Amazon!

In my ideal world a free trial should be free, i.e. you should not have to provide card details upfront. It's up to the offerer to make their deal so attractive that you do want to sign up! As it is, 'free trial' offers feel to me like horrible, sticky spiderwebs, with the corporate giant squatting menacingly in the corner...
I've never gotten a ""free"" Audible trial myself - I *despise* "free" things where you have to give them a card number.

(It seems to work for video channel trials for those who do have Amz'n Prime -- but then, they already have your card number, bwaahhhahahaha.)

Your questions have gotten me to get more familiar with Librivox -- the partner of my favorites Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg -- but it's still a mostly unknown to me.
And they still have so few classic Sci Fi (at least every time I look). Classics, oh fine, if they're Shakespeare or Poe maybe, but not Katherine MacLean. (Or "Russian Science Fiction 1968")
 
And they [Librivox] still have so few classic Sci Fi (at least every time I look). Classics, oh fine, if they're Shakespeare or Poe maybe, but not Katherine MacLean. (Or "Russian Science Fiction 1968")
Totally. Many, many things missing from Librivox - even those now outside copyright . Since it's 100% volunteer, perhaps it's just that the books we'd like to find there are too 'niche'...

Librivox does have some stories by MacLean, though. And they have quite a lot of SF stort stories.
 
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Do you mind me asking what search string you used? I have of course looked myself but drawn a complete blank. Clearly I need to improve my technique. :sneaky: :)

Google search looked like: scifi "novel" "elfstate" "soldiers"

The double-quotes around a term require it to be in the result verbatim, otherwise google can ignore it in favor of other terms in the search or try alternate spellings.

I usually require "novel" in my searches to avoid matches from movies, television, comic books etc cluttering up my results. I sometimes use "book" or similar instead.

(You can also exclude terms by putting a minus sign in front of them -movie, but I only do that if I notice something I want to specifically exclude. Multi-word terms can be excluded with minus and quotes: -"comic book")
 
Google search looked like: scifi "novel" "elfstate" "soldiers"

The double-quotes around a term require it to be in the result verbatim, otherwise google can ignore it in favor of other terms in the search or try alternate spellings. I usually require "novel" in my searches to avoid matches from movies, television, comic books etc cluttering up my results. I sometimes use "book" or similar instead. (You can also exclude terms by putting a minus sign in front of them -movie, but I only do that if I notice something I want to specifically exclude. Multi-word terms can be excluded with minus and quotes: -"comic book")
Thanks for the tutorial, Tachyon! I have just tried that exact string and Google returned just 3 options. :confused: This happens to me a lot. I do have 'moderate safe search' on, which blocks porno, language etc but I don't think I block anything else.With startpage.com I get just ONE result - this SFF post. Do you get more results with that search string?

screenshot.jpg
 
I do only get 4 results with that, but the 3rd item which is missing from your results is the one that led me to Hardfought.

This looks like the type of thing that would be filtered by safe search, a sketchy ebook site that posts copyrighted material...

Removing "soldiers" produces many more results for me and would probably have been sufficient to find the answer. It often takes a few (can be many) different iterations - creativity and a thesaurus can help - to get a useful result.

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Thanks, that's very helpful. :) I will try turning MSS off, to see if that improves my searches.
 

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