I don't remember anything about the title or author of this book. I think it was a relatively simple title. It was a fairly short book, the cover was a silver-blue (I think?), and I think it had a very simple or one-word title, but I can't remember. As far as I know it was a stand-alone novel, but I can't be sure.

The book had a series of about 4-6ish main characters. The main character was a human man. Humans had created some kind of wormhole or device to send them to other planets in a couple years' time. They found a planet that was completely covered (I'm pretty sure) in very shallow water, (it was much like the water planet in Interstellar by description, but without large waves) or possibly marshy, where they found these organisms that, when held, could heighten their mental abilities.

As far as I remember they looked rather like sea cucumbers and couldn't / didn't communicate with the humans, and they never found out if the creatures were sentient or not. Once held, they could heighten a person's mental abilities, then when held by a second person joined the two together mentally.

But the more people picked up the creature, they began to quickly experience mental side effects and several of them died rather gruesomely. They did end up going back to Earth safely the first time, but found the life form could not help them like they'd hoped and it ended up very open-ended without saying the fate of the main character.

It was probably written in the mid nineties and most likely before, in the eighties or seventies and was probably only about 200 pages long. I've been haunted not being able to figure out what it is. I've tried advanced google book search and other book-finding sites, and looking up keywords but no luck.

  • Not the answer, but sounds a lot like the backstory to BioShock 1 – Machavity Nov 19 '17 at 15:55

This is the 1976 novel Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman.

The planet circles Groombridge 1618 and the small alien creatures are called "bridges." The explorers (called "Tamers") wear powered suits.

Humanity ends up encountering an advanced race called the L'vrai; the main character Jacque and the bridges are key to communicating with them.

This book is full of fun ideas - the interstellar travel method has particularly intriguing limitations. It's my favorite book of his.

This may be your silver-blue cover.

enter image description here

  • 1
    True, a given creatures cause death to the first human who touches them, but is subsequently safe to touch. It gives telepathy between two humans to simultaneously touch them. – Winchell Chung Nov 19 '17 at 13:17
  • Or between a human and a L'vrai, IIRC. – Organic Marble Nov 19 '17 at 13:51
  • 3
    Thank you so much, I had no idea so many other people had read this. i remember it being a really compelling story – sabriel Nov 20 '17 at 1:50
  • You're most welcome. I like the book very much myself. – Organic Marble Nov 20 '17 at 2:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.