So there was a novel I read, I think for school years ago, and I've forgotten the name of it. I remember a fair number of details, but searching google with any combination of them doesn't seem to give me what I'm looking for. The main thing that separated it from other series was the fact it was a 4 part series, at the time I read it, with a website.

The details I remember are as follows: There was a group of adolescent humans who just arrived at this new "planet", although it's actually 4 rings with one smaller and more in the center than the last. On the outermost ring is a lot of mining or lower level jobs, which is where they began in the first book. The humans were basically youth workers, being managed by some alien guy who'd give them some pay for their work. One of the memorable things he'd say would be, if someone said something along the lines of "I didn't do it, I swear", he'd respond with "No swearing" and take away some of their earnings before the situation gets dealt with.

Now since there were lots of aliens, the humans needed to be able to understand them. Everyone else would need a chip installed somewhere in their head to be able to hear all the other languages as English, but the main character could mentally look inside a computer and download all the files and such into his head. The mental access of computers ability matters to the story, because that's how we meet a character who's in the computer system.

While that's all the details I remember, I hope that'll help someone recognize the series.


1 Answer 1


The Softwire.

Here's a quick look at some of the summary:

The Softwire is a series of four young adult science fiction novels by PJ Haarsma. It is set in space, in an original fictional universe of Haarsma's creation. A group of around two hundred children are orphaned in outer space on their journey to the Rings of Orbis: giant, planet-like rings which surround a wormhole. The children's parents are killed during an incident in the "seed-ship" in which they are traveling and the computer controlling the ship has raised the children—the eldest of whom are thirteen-years-old as the ship reaches Orbis. By Orbisian law, the children are required to enter into four years (or "rotations", as the aliens called it) of indentured servitude to pay for their trip. Each novel takes place during one year of indentured servitude. One of the children, thirteen-year-old Johnny Turnbull (JT), becomes the first ever human softwire—someone who can "speak to" and "enter into" computers with his mind. The Softwire focuses on JT, his sister Ketheria, and their friends, Max and Theodore.
- The Softwire - Wikipedia

This seems to match your description pretty well.

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