Scifi Book: merchant ship picks up pilot at small space station, makes contact with aliens


New Member
May 31, 2023
Thanks for helping if you can! I am searching for a book I read in the early 90s in paperback. It started with a trading ship owned by a family that recently lost at least 1 member, and the ship was damaged as well. They stop at a small space station, and find a replacement pilot, possibly named Greg, who had been let go from his ship because he was kinda weird. He joins and starts to bond with the family crew, but starts having flashbacks of an alien encounter that had been suppressed by the government maybe? Some kind of battle happens, and "Greg" makes a jump to forbidden coordinates, where they encounter aliens again. The alien ship is controlled by a pool of light which bonds with "Greg", allowing him to converse with it and the other aliens inside the ship. IIRC the government sends a few ships after them, and they are disabled by the alien light pool thing. The book ends with trade being established with the aliens, and "Greg" and the alien pool of light go back onto the trading ship. I would greatly appreciate any help finding this book!
Could this one be "Merchanter's Luck" by C. J. Cherryh?

Possibly Stealing Light by Gary Gibson? Stealing Light by Gary Gibson. Or The Halcyon Drift by Brian Stableford? From a couple of Goodreads reviews: "Grainger, a [starship] pilot, has been shipwrecked ... in a dangerous star system called the Halcyon Drift. ... Unexpectedly [he is] rescued ... and ... accepts a job offer to pilot ... the new hi-tech Hooded Swan. Unfortunately, this means going back to the Halcyon Drift to ... [find a] ship that disappeared in the Drift carrying a potentially valuable cargo. This is a very dangerous job but perhaps Grainger will get some help from the alien parasite that took up residence in his brain while he was stranded in the Drift".