Hive in space {SOLVED BY OP}

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Hive in space {SOLVED BY OP}

Postby voralfred » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:03 am

One more.
If you have an idea, read the spoilers, if you'd rather wait for someone else to guess so you can enjoy the book once it is found, do not!
This takes place in some kind of hive in intersellar space. Humans have discovered this huge organic structure inhabited by many many different species, some of them sentient, other very primitive animals. They have determined that it is in fact a hive of one of these species, with all the others being commensals (just as there are a lot of commensal species in an ant-hill, for instance) but they cannot determine which it is. The species they interacted with, the most advanced
Spoiler: show
(or, should I say, the least degenerated)
, is in fact rather a newcomer, not at all the creator of the hive.
At the end the human explorers find the explanation.
Spoiler: show
The "Hive mind" wakes up and tells them that the hive is a bait to attract aggressive space-traveling species and degenerate them to animal status. The species who created the hive is itself sentient, intelligent, in a "hive-mind" way but only when needed, being happy to abandon intelligence for eons and appear as a very low life-form as long as not challenged by a new intelligent spacefaring species.)
Last edited by voralfred on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby clong » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:24 pm

Well, the
Spoiler: show
devolution
element sounds a lot like the 1954 Theodore Sturgeon novella "The Golden Helix," but that is set on a planet, not on a hive spaceship. Other than that element, this reminds me of a book that I read a couple years ago....but I can't remember which one. I'll post again if it comes to me.
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Postby voralfred » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:27 pm

I looked for "Golden Helix" on Amazon. The only review I found:
A Customer wrote:(...) The survivors of a crashed spaceship awaken to find their craft carefully disassembled, as if by an unseen hand. (...)

does not match my memories, but I could be wrong. Do yo know where I could find a more detailed synopsis?
Is the "Helix" on the planet? From the front cover it would seem the Helix is in the sky... if it floats over the planet, maybe that could still fit. I definitely remember that they needed to fly to reach the "hive", which was also a place to fly inside, not walk on it, but still, the deep-space ship could have crashed and they were just using "local" shuttles, just good enough to reach a structure in orbit around the palnet they crashed on.
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Postby KiltanneN » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:07 pm

While I don't know this story, this reminds me of a similar storyline written as a short about some large "pods" that appear around the sun.

They are explored and found to be the perfect habitation. They have cells that allow a population of several thousand, people can move between cells - or block the movement of others. People move in - but cannot enter the central cell.

Hundreds of years pass, the "Pods" have populations numbering in the 100s of millions or maybe billions, and one day start to flash - signalling a warning of some kind.

Spoiler: show
They then explode - seeding the universe with the seeds of new pods - BUT had the inhabitants attempted to enter the central cell during the warning signal they would have de-activated the "dispersal of seedlings".

The pods themselves were sentient - and were happy and awed and grateful to be permitted to seed the galaxy with new pods - that contained the millions of life-stories.


Does this ring a bell for anybody?

[Sorry to hijack your Q VorAlfred...]
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Postby clong » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:14 pm

voralfred wrote:I looked for "Golden Helix" on Amazon. The only review I found:
A Customer wrote:(...) The survivors of a crashed spaceship awaken to find their craft carefully disassembled, as if by an unseen hand. (...)

does not match my memories, but I could be wrong. Do yo know where I could find a more detailed synopsis?
Is the "Helix" on the planet? From the front cover it would seem the Helix is in the sky... if it floats over the planet, maybe that could still fit. I definitely remember that they needed to fly to reach the "hive", which was also a place to fly inside, not walk on it, but still, the deep-space ship could have crashed and they were just using "local" shuttles, just good enough to reach a structure in orbit around the palnet they crashed on.


I'll dig out my copy and remind myself of more details on the story. The way I remember it,
Spoiler: show
at the end of the story, all of the humans had lost their intelligence. But they were happy. :spin:
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Postby voralfred » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:18 am

Hmmmmmm...
Must be a different book. As I remember, the book ends shortly afterwards.
Spoiler: show
The devolution takes generations, it is a natural, Darwinian phenomenon that the Hive causes by creating an environment such that the "fittest" are the dumbest, somehow. No individual becomes stupider than he was born, but civilisations crumble. The human race has just met the Hive, its distant future is not described
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Postby clong » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:38 am

That seems to make it clear that it's not The Golden Helix.
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Postby voralfred » Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:05 am

I'm bringing up this question about a "Hive Mind" in space.
Anyone has new ideas?
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Postby Darb » Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:48 am

Is this related thread of any help ?

viewtopic.php?t=110948
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Postby voralfred » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:11 pm

Well, I tried every book listed there, and none sounded a bell.
I think this was a rather short story, maybe a novelette, probably not even a novella.
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Postby chug2 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:46 am

Hmmm sounds like one my friend's described to me, haven't read it myself though...
The 'Remnants' series by KA Applegate (who also did the Animorphs series)
He said it sounds close but cant personally remember it attracting other species though.
Hope this helps.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:08 pm

Might be one of those David Brin Uplift books. I have not read them all, but thematically they sound similar.

There are a bunch of evolution/devolution books that take place on spaceships. Nonstop by Aldis and Orphans of the Sky by Heinlein are two. I have a bunch of SF encyclopedias at home. Was that the main gist of the book? If so, I can look to see if anything matches it when I get home from work today.
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Postby voralfred » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:26 pm

No, none of the above.

I think I did not make myself clear.

The gist of the book is not the devolution of humans.
The book (probably not a novel, a novelette or short story) shows the interaction of humans with the Hive just for a short time. Humans are not yet affected by the hive.
The devolutio the Hive mind describes at the end of the book, when the mystery clears, is that of all the "commensal species" that share the hive with it. They all started as explorers, met it and stayed there to lose their aggressive edge. It predicts a similar future for the humans but only in a very far future (except that the exploration team that discovered the Hive could just go away and tell humans to give the Hive a wide berth, it is not vey clear at the end what they will do; the only thing which is clear is that humans cannot conquer the Hive ,that's all)
But definitely we do not see devolutrd humans as in Nonstop (which I have read) or Orphans of the Sky (I have not read it yet but I read a synopsis on Wikipedia) And no relation with the theme of Brin's Uplift books (I read only a few, but the general theme is very different - I wish the Tandu, Gubru and other Soro would end up within the Hive.... the Universe would be much safer...)
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Re: Hive in space

Postby voralfred » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:42 am

After so many years, I tried an internet search, and I found descriptions of Bruce Sterling's Swarm (for instance, in Wikipedia) that fit my memories. These descriptions use the word "symbiotes", while I was looking for the term "commensals", but this is exactly what I remembered. In particular another source provides the exerpt
“I find myself awakened again,” Swarm said dreamily. “I am pleased to see that there is no major emergency to concern me. Instead it is a threat that has become almost routine.” It hesitated delicately. Mirny’s body moved slightly in midair; her breathing was inhumanly regular. The eyes opened and closed. “Another young race.”
“What are you?”
“I am the Swarm. That is, I am one of its castes. I am a tool, an adaptation; my specialty is intelligence. I am not often needed. It is good to be needed again”

which definitely rings a bell.
OK, so it was on a asteroid, my memory of a structure in open space was wrong. But the awakening of the "mind" after a long period during which the "swarm" did not need intelligence, is exactly what I was looking for.

Do I deserve a self-watson ?
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