Discussion:
Trying to identify an old novel
(too old to reply)
The Zygon
2018-02-27 04:44:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
I have recently started a project to reread some of my favorite science fiction books - some of which I read as long as 30 years ago. Unfortunately, for a few of them, I remember the stories but not the name of the book or the author.

Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to remain invisible while doing so.

By some evolutionary fluke, this species looked and behaved so much like human beings that they could understand and relate very well to human experiences. This was so much so that they record the actual experiences of human beings - visual, audio and emotions - and provided them to their civilization as entertainment. Further, they often instigated these experiences my rendering some humans insane, often resulting in violent, tragic actions on family and friends.

One of the bye products of this species personal immortality was the inability to have children. To their surprise they found that they could have children with human beings. I will avoid boring people with too many details, but would like to mention two facts which might help nudge memories. (1) All members of the species were connected by some means which they referred to as The Web. (2) If any member of the species died (and they did only by unnatural means) every other member of The Web knew it.

I am trying to remember the name and author of the book. I would appreciate the help of anyone who recognizes it. If you require more information please feel free to ask.




Regards
The Zygon
David Duffy
2018-02-28 00:03:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
The Zygon <***@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
> which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
> us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
> remain invisible while doing so.
>
Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.

Cheers, David Duffy.
Juho Julkunen
2018-02-28 01:59:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In article <p74rko$1vd7$***@gioia.aioe.org>, ***@qimr.edu.au says...
>
> The Zygon <***@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
> > which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
> > us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
> > remain invisible while doing so.
> >
> Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
> are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.

Sounds like _The Heaven Makers_ to me. The Chem were linked together by
"Tiggywaugh's web", which also (I think) gave them their immortality
and monitored their mental health. (They were all nuts.)

--
Juho Julkunen
The Zygon
2018-02-28 05:21:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 8:59:56 PM UTC-5, Juho Julkunen wrote:
> In article ...
> >
> > The Zygon
> > >
> > > Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
> > > which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
> > > us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
> > > remain invisible while doing so.
> > >
> > Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
> > are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.
>
> Sounds like _The Heaven Makers_ to me. The Chem were linked together by
> "Tiggywaugh's web", which also (I think) gave them their immortality
> and monitored their mental health. (They were all nuts.)
>
> --
> Juho Julkunen

=====
Thanks everyone! That is it indeed! Great! I soon as I saw the name "The Chem" I knew you were right. That jogged a memory. I had long forgotten what they were called.


Regards
The Zygon
Robert Carnegie
2018-02-28 07:34:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Wednesday, 28 February 2018 05:21:17 UTC, The Zygon wrote:
> On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 8:59:56 PM UTC-5, Juho Julkunen wrote:
> > In article ...
> > >
> > > The Zygon
> > > >
> > > > Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
> > > > which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
> > > > us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
> > > > remain invisible while doing so.
> > > >
> > > Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
> > > are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.
> >
> > Sounds like _The Heaven Makers_ to me. The Chem were linked together by
> > "Tiggywaugh's web", which also (I think) gave them their immortality
> > and monitored their mental health. (They were all nuts.)
> >
> > --
> > Juho Julkunen
>
> =====
> Thanks everyone! That is it indeed! Great! I soon as I saw the name "The Chem" I knew you were right. That jogged a memory. I had long forgotten what they were called.

Do we put it down as "recommended", or wait for you to report back?

I may have read it; I may own it - I haven't looked yet.
Juho Julkunen
2018-02-28 11:29:08 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In article <a3ea175e-d1e5-44af-ae9b-***@googlegroups.com>,
***@excite.com says...
>
> On Wednesday, 28 February 2018 05:21:17 UTC, The Zygon wrote:
> > On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 8:59:56 PM UTC-5, Juho Julkunen wrote:
> > > In article ...
> > > >
> > > > The Zygon
> > > > >
> > > > > Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
> > > > > which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
> > > > > us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
> > > > > remain invisible while doing so.
> > > > >
> > > > Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
> > > > are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.
> > >
> > > Sounds like _The Heaven Makers_ to me. The Chem were linked together by
> > > "Tiggywaugh's web", which also (I think) gave them their immortality
> > > and monitored their mental health. (They were all nuts.)
> > >
> > > --
> > > Juho Julkunen
> >
> > =====
> > Thanks everyone! That is it indeed! Great! I soon as I saw the name "The Chem" I knew you were right. That jogged a memory. I had long forgotten what they were called.
>
> Do we put it down as "recommended", or wait for you to report back?

It's been a while since I read it, but my thought at the time was that
it is the worst of Herbert's novels.

--
Juho Julkunen
Titus G
2018-02-28 19:55:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 01/03/18 00:29, Juho Julkunen wrote:
> In article <a3ea175e-d1e5-44af-ae9b-***@googlegroups.com>,
> ***@excite.com says...
>>
>> On Wednesday, 28 February 2018 05:21:17 UTC, The Zygon wrote:
>>> On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 8:59:56 PM UTC-5, Juho Julkunen wrote:
>>>> In article ...
>>>>>
>>>>> The Zygon
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
>>>>>> which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
>>>>>> us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
>>>>>> remain invisible while doing so.
>>>>>>
>>>>> Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
>>>>> are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.
>>>>
>>>> Sounds like _The Heaven Makers_ to me. The Chem were linked together by
>>>> "Tiggywaugh's web", which also (I think) gave them their immortality
>>>> and monitored their mental health. (They were all nuts.)
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Juho Julkunen
>>>
>>> =====
>>> Thanks everyone! That is it indeed! Great! I soon as I saw the name "The Chem" I knew you were right. That jogged a memory. I had long forgotten what they were called.
>>
>> Do we put it down as "recommended", or wait for you to report back?
>
> It's been a while since I read it, but my thought at the time was that
> it is the worst of Herbert's novels.

I recently read The Santaroga Affair which also had linked minds and was
very disappointed but mainly because of the similarities to Hellstrom's
Hive which I had really enjoyed. I think I would have enjoyed Santaroga
if I had read it first. Perhaps "The Chem" is more of the same?
Juho Julkunen
2018-02-28 21:18:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In article <p771g7$52d$***@dont-email.me>, ***@nowhere.com says...
>
> On 01/03/18 00:29, Juho Julkunen wrote:
> > In article <a3ea175e-d1e5-44af-ae9b-***@googlegroups.com>,
> > ***@excite.com says...
> >>
> >> On Wednesday, 28 February 2018 05:21:17 UTC, The Zygon wrote:
> >>> On Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 8:59:56 PM UTC-5, Juho Julkunen wrote:
> >>>> In article ...
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The Zygon
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Many years ago, I read a novel in which visitors of an alien species
> >>>>>> which had achieved personal immortality, came to earth. They visited
> >>>>>> us secretly and observed us for a very long time. The were able to
> >>>>>> remain invisible while doing so.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>> Could it be Frank Herbert's _The Heaven Makers_? The aliens in that
> >>>>> are the Chem. Long time since I read it, so I don't recall a Web etc.
> >>>>
> >>>> Sounds like _The Heaven Makers_ to me. The Chem were linked together by
> >>>> "Tiggywaugh's web", which also (I think) gave them their immortality
> >>>> and monitored their mental health. (They were all nuts.)
> >>>>
> >>>> --
> >>>> Juho Julkunen
> >>>
> >>> =====
> >>> Thanks everyone! That is it indeed! Great! I soon as I saw the name "The Chem" I knew you were right. That jogged a memory. I had long forgotten what they were called.
> >>
> >> Do we put it down as "recommended", or wait for you to report back?
> >
> > It's been a while since I read it, but my thought at the time was that
> > it is the worst of Herbert's novels.
>
> I recently read The Santaroga Affair which also had linked minds and was
> very disappointed but mainly because of the similarities to Hellstrom's
> Hive which I had really enjoyed. I think I would have enjoyed Santaroga
> if I had read it first. Perhaps "The Chem" is more of the same?

To be honest, I don't recall much about it. I've never been tempted to
reread it. The Chem oneness was achieved through mechanical means,
rather than something more organic, which I think is posited as the
reason they were so messed up.

_The Santaroga Barrier_, by contrast, I have read more than once; it is
an excellent novel. Yes, it has more than few similarities to
_Hellstrom's Hive_.

Linked minds, or oneness, often achieved through consciousness-expaning
drugs, was a not uncommon theme for Herbert. It also shows up in _Dune_
as the "Sietch Tau". (At minimum.)

--
Juho Julkunen
The Zygon
2018-02-28 11:26:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Please mark as recommended!

It is the book I was looking for.


Regards,
The Zygon
Loading...