The shopping chain known as The Gap is mentioned frequently in slightly skeptical terms by the main character of Microserfs (a novel by Douglas Coupland).

The phrase is rescued from dull shop-ness in a sequence of books by Stephen R. Donaldson. The series consists of five science fiction novels that tell the story of three main characters as they become involved in political power-plays. Each of the three main characters plays different roles in the melodramatic trio of hero, villain and victim. As the books progress, and as with many Donaldson books, it is the character's flaws rather than their qualities that often determine the paths they follow.

In my opinion, these are the finest books Donaldson has written, surpassing even the masterful Thomas Covenant trilogies. On the surface they appear to be cliched genre pieces but the author adds depth, dark humour and brilliant twists to what could easily have become a science fiction relation of Terry Brooks's Shannara books (ie. very poor, thoughtless rubbish).

'The Gap' that the series is named for concerns FTL space travel technology. A Gap Drive is an engine that can avoid normal space by travelling through the Gap. This is a potentially lethal method of travel that has unpredictable psychological effects on a small minority of people. To control the Gap sickness of Morn Hyland, her captor, Angus Thermopyle gives her an illegal zone implant that also allows him to control her in some fairly sickening ways.

The setup for the sequence of books is that Morn is rescued by Nick Succorso. The desire that the two men have for her and the capabilities given to her by the zone implant give Morn a fragile power over them and it is this that drives the narrative forward.