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The plot had to do with "astronauts" who travelled to other worlds telepathically rather than physically. On one such exploration, the protagonist encountered a big pink "thing," which somehow sort of mind-melded into his head. The astronaut/paraonaut spent much of the novel fighting this alien in his head. Near the end, he finally realized it might be more helpful than harmful.

I've been trying to identify this book for decades. Thanks for any help you can provide!

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  • A downvote? Really?
    – Andres F.
    Dec 30 '15 at 12:10
  • So sorry! I've never posted or done anything in this forum before, must have clicked something accidentally! I've tried to up vote it . . . . Thank you for helping me out!
    – c-cy
    Dec 31 '15 at 5:56
  • No, not you. I meant someone else downvoted your question. Why someone did this to a perfectly good question puzzles me. Don't worry, it doesn't matter anyway :)
    – Andres F.
    Dec 31 '15 at 17:42
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It doesn't fit all the details, but maybe you're thinking of Clifford Simak's Time is the Simplest Thing (1961)?

In this book, mankind explores space by having "astronauts" travel with their minds. In the first few scenes of the book, the protagonist mind-melds with an alien creature ("I trade you with my mind").

The creature is friendly, or at least, not hostile. I don't remember it being pink. Most of the problems the protagonist faces are due to him illegally "bringing back" the alien (as part of his mind) and being hunted by the authorities.

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  • 1
    "Blaine moved toward it, still keeping his slow pace, and the sensors gathered in the knowledge of this sprawling life and the recorders sucked it up. It was pink; an exciting pink, not a disgusting pink as pink so often can be, not a washed-out pink, nor an anatomical pink, but a very pretty pink, the kind of pink the little girl next door might wear at her seventh birthday party. "
    – user14111
    Dec 31 '15 at 9:15
  • @user14111 So it was this book after all! Thanks for the quote, it's been many years since I read it, and I forgot the alien was indeed pink.
    – Andres F.
    Dec 31 '15 at 17:43

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