Identify this science fiction story?
November 18, 2004 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Can you identify this science fiction story? My friend's been looking for a copy for years...[more inside]
posted by deliriouscool to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
(waits five or so minutes then makes sarcastic response)

I have no idea!
posted by Peter H at 11:39 AM on November 18, 2004 [1 favorite]

It involves a race of telepathic/psychic humanoids and ape-like creatures that co-exist. The humanoids have a shared consciousness and shared experiences - but they're not aware of things they haven't already experienced...and this gives the ape-like beings the means to defeat them; the apes do things like take a segment out of a bridge - because the humanoids weren't expecting it, they can't see the hole, and at least one falls through to his/her/it's death. This story most likely appeared in a science fiction magazine in the mid-to late 80s, but my friend has looked through all the back issues he can think of and no luck. Does this ring a bell for you?
posted by deliriouscool at 11:40 AM on November 18, 2004

You can find magazine and title information at the Internet Speculative Fiction DataBase. Maybe seeing the title/author will spark your memory.

It doesn't sound like anything I remember from Asimov's, but I missed a few during the hazy Bush I years.
posted by ?! at 12:23 PM on November 18, 2004

Dude it sounds like Beneath The Planet of the Apes is melding with something else in his head.
posted by glenwood at 12:25 PM on November 18, 2004

It sounds vaugely reminiscent of Doris Piscerchia's A Billion Days of Earth, though there's a fair number of stories/novellas from other authors with similar themes.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:48 PM on November 18, 2004

Whoops! Here's the right link.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:50 PM on November 18, 2004

There needs to be a central database of sci-fi stories with their plot elements. So many people want to know, etc.
posted by inksyndicate at 3:02 PM on November 18, 2004

This sounds like a story from Analog, from the late 1980's.

The story is a sequel to an initial story about humans, bred for physic ability, who revolted and fled earth to form their own colony.

Because the humans were physically linked, they developed a "blind spot" to changes in their environment. Each person's mental map reinforced everyone else, overwriting their ability to perceive changes.

The creatures were native to the planet, and were slowly working to drive the humans out by destroying infrastructure, taking sniper-shots as the settlers, etc.

The settlers were able to overcome the attack because a boy born in the colony did not have physic ability, and could see the attackers. The humans took turns going in and out of the boy's head, using his perception to see the true state of their environment and where the attackers were.

In the end, the attack was repelled. The humans started working to breed non-physic children to help keep the same thing from happening again.

I have no idea who the author was or what the story title is.

posted by jazon at 3:17 PM on November 18, 2004

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