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This was a series; I seem to remember reading it no later than the early/mid ’90s.

An important plot point was a set of non humans—blue, I think—that operated in a group mind to understand the ecology of a world. They could decide whether it was safe to colonize the world, and could assist a colony to set up on such a world to know exactly what was safe to eat, to do, where were good places to locate the colony, and so on. There was a fair amount of mysticism attached to it, and somehow a human woman became part of one of these group minds.

The bluemanoids weren’t inherently a group mind; normally, they were as much individuals as humans - but some of them had the talent to join into these ecology-aware group minds. When they were joined, only one of them could interact with other people, as the “voice” of the group mind.

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  • Just to clarify were the "non humans" still humanoid? Also were these novel length books, short stories, etc.?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 2, 2018 at 12:36
  • @TheLethalCarrot - Yes, they were humanoid. I recall at least three novels, comprising one long story arc. Jul 2, 2018 at 12:45
  • I'm at work and don't have time to type a full answer but this sounds a lot like the Xenogenesis Trilogy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenogenesis_Trilogy
    – AJM
    Jul 3, 2018 at 8:40
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    @JDM - No, definitely not Xenogenesis, but thanks for something else to put onto my (increasingly long) to-read list. Jul 3, 2018 at 11:29
  • I just realized... the other answer isn't marked as accepted, so we can't close this as a duplicate.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 3, 2018 at 11:53

1 Answer 1

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In puttering around on the site, I found my own answer to this question, which is unquestionably the series I’m thinking of—the Dushau Trilogy, by Jacqueline Lichtenberg.

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    Oh, no worries at all. :) I do it all the time.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 3, 2018 at 11:51

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