I read this book when I was a teenager (late 70's early 80's) and cannot remember its name or author.

An alien race is discovered, their planet is metal poor so their technology is glass based, they also surgically implant an organ that gives them telepathic ability.

Ring any bells to anyone, what was it called?


Just remembered something about it, the initial Alien that is encountered is adrift in space in some kind of stasis pod, has been for a long time (many years)

  • 1
    Can you remember any details about the storyline? Was it aimed at adults, children, young adults? Was it a full length novel or a novella? Any other details you can recall which could spark somebody's memory.
    – Moogle
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 8:11
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    Definitely not the story you're looking for, but Treason by Orson Scott Card is about a planet with extremely limited iron, and is quite good if the idea interests you. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 16:05
  • I think that it was aimed at young adults, I would have been only 13 or 14 I think
    – Tim Jarvis
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 0:49
  • I don't think it's what you're looking for, but the combination of telepathy and stasis pods reminds me of Niven's World of Ptavvs. Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 16:50

3 Answers 3


This could be Alan Dean Foster's Sentenced to Prism.

  • Most things on the planet are glass or crystal, and the significant population is made of the stuff.
  • The locals are telepathic, and they surgically implant an organ into the human protagonist's brain to allow him to talk to them
  • 1
    Is this the book that talks about a future where everyone wears a protective suit all the time? Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 16:23
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    @JoelCoehoorn Yes (but this is a quirk of the protagonist's home planet (Samstead), not the entire universe (Humanx Commonwealth)).
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:45
  • Wasn't this one, but it does look interesting anyway.
    – Tim Jarvis
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 0:50
  • No stasis pod in this one. The opening has the protagonist being shown a bracelet creature from an earlier exploration.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 12:08

It sounds like you're referring to the Tanu from the "Saga of the Pliocene Exiles".

  • Their planet is metal poor so their technology is glass based

Their tech (and weaponry and armour) is largely based on glass and ceramics as a result of certain metals being extremely poisonous to their allies.

  • They also surgically implant an organ that gives them telepathic ability.

They use a torc (a sort of fancy, thick necklace) to supplement their limited telepathic gifts.

  • Also not this one, but again this series looks interesting
    – Tim Jarvis
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 0:51

This sounds like Ringworld. I don't know about their planet, but their spaceship that they travel in has a transparent glass hull that can dim in sunlight, and it has a stasis field that protects occupants.

The Puppeteers' General Products hulls, which are impervious to any known force except visible light and gravity, and cannot be destroyed by anything except antimatter. The Slaver stasis field, which causes time in the enclosed volume to stand still; since time has for all intents and purposes ceased for an object in stasis, no harm can come to anything within the field.

One of the characters is Kzin which are telepathic.

the ones who exhibit telepathic ability are forced into addiction of a drug derived from the lymph of an animal called a sthondat. Sthondat lymph extract significantly increases telepathic ability

  • ok, I will have to read that sounds like a hoot. But its not the one unfortunately.
    – Tim Jarvis
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 22:47

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