In high school I took a ScFi literature class where we read a story about a musician that had a symbiote on his back that was his muse for his music. A anti symbiote gang led by his brother attacks him and removes the symbiote from his back and destroys it. Any idea of the title and author of this story? Please help.

1 Answer 1


This looks to be Muse by Dean R. Koontz. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1969.

This story doesn't seem to exist online, but below are some snippets from blogs of those who've read it. Looks like it was the father, rather than the brother, who killed the symbiote.

Leonard with the help of his symbiote, Icky, is a famous musician. He is adore by worlds of fans. The one place he is not welcome is home. His father thinks Icky is an abomination.


Leo had a symbiotic relationship with this creature that gave him confidence, it didn’t wear him down. It was a sort of a parasitic friendship that was more giving than receiving to one another. Leo gave Icky life, while Icky gave Leo talent, confidence, and the personality that he formed during his travels and the rise of his fame.


In Muse, the father claimed that he was trying to help his son, but he did not take the time to listen and understand the relationship between his son and Icky before he killed the slug.


And here's another user on a different site who appears to be looking for the same story, with a few different details (mentioning that Icky is an alien and pointing towards the title, as well as indicating a date range).

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