In the eighties I remember reading about a golden band that when worn links everyone in global mental network. Not sure if it was a novel or short story. All thoughts are exposed by this network, which the protagonist finds horribly invasive.

Does anyone know what story this is from?

edit: user LAK made a great suggestion in comments but I am not sure this is the one I was looking for. Any other possibilities out there?

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    That looks interesting but this was definitely pre 1990's. And the gold band was integral to the story... had a more "visitor" kind of feeling to it.
    – rebusB
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 21:45
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    Can you remember anything more about the story you read? Where/when was it set, anything about major characters or events in the plot? You might like to check our guidance on asking good story-ID questions.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 21:47
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    I am afraid not. Just the golden band, the neural network, the discomfort of the protagonist who was visiting or brought to the culture. I think he gets the hang of it as the story progresses, that is all I can recall. It may not even be the major plot point... It just seems to anticipate the internet so well, would like to read it again.
    – rebusB
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 22:08
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    The story didn't take place in the distant past, with the golden ring being a torc that amplifies mental power while giving all users, even those with no innate psychic abilities, access to a psychic network?
    – LAK
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 16:48
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    @rebusB I was referring Julian May's 'Saga of Pliocene Exile' series. There's a lot more to it than just the bit about the golden torc (though 'The Golden Torc' is the title of one of the books).
    – LAK
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


This may be Spider Robinson's Time Pressure (or one of the other books in the series) which features a global telepathic network mediated by crowns worn by the people. The viewpoint character in Time Pressure is initially very negative about the loss of privacy involved, but gets over it. Most of the book takes place before the group mind becomes involved, but I think similar issues show up in "Life House"

Previous discussion of this book

  • Robinson wrote an early short story "Copyright Violation" which included some of these same ideas. Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 0:29
  • Thanks- I didn’t know about that one
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 0:43
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    Thanks! I will get the book and see if it is the one...
    – rebusB
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 1:32
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    Finally read the book. While I do remember reading it, and a little bothered looking back at the influence it had on me, it does not have the passage I think I am looking for. Very close. Now to find "Copyright Violation"
    – rebusB
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 15:39

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