In ”Dreams with Sharp Teeth”, Harlan Ellison mentions a story whereby every thought is known to everyone, but a man still manages to get away with murder. Presumably, this is a story of his, or by someone he respects, as he refers to it as an example of a ”real” sci-fi story.

Anybody know which one he's talking about?


1 Answer 1


Almost certainly The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester, which is certainly a murder mystery set in a telepathic society (although telepaths are only a small minority).

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    An absolute classic, which every serious SF fan should read. If Ellison was referring to this story, the description of "everything being known to everyone" was not correct. There are other, spoilery reasons why the quote probably isn't referring to the this book.
    – Christi
    Mar 5, 2012 at 0:40
  • It's certainly possible I misremembered the quote...it could have merely been "some" people to whom the thoughts would be known... Mar 6, 2012 at 1:28
  • He is almost definitely referring to Bester - Ellison is a huge fan, and has written an introduction to Bester's The Computer Connection.
    – egid
    Feb 5, 2014 at 5:01

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