A novel about an alien trapped in an asteroid. Space miners set it free and it takes over the crew. The aliens' mind controls the crew and I think tries to possess them. They fight with the aliens who can control energy of all kinds. It seems like the aliens might be fallen angels. The story concludes with one of the crew members trapped in the mind of a dog but the humans still win the day. At the end of the story, the female captain is returned to her human body.

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    This is a bit on the terse side. If you go to scifi.stackexchange.com/tags/story-identification/info, you'll find some prompts that may help you edit more detail into your question to help us help you.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Oct 28, 2018 at 3:44
  • You say the alien "takes over the crew." Does it physically overpower them, drug them or mind control them? There's a Niven story where the latter happens, but the Tnuctipun can't control energy, and definitely wouldn't be mistaken for angels. :) There's an Andre Norton novel where the heroes fight a mind-controlling alien, but in that case the one in an animal body gets out of it...
    – DavidW
    Feb 26, 2020 at 20:35
  • The aliens' mind controls the crew and I think to possess them. At the end of the story, the female captain is returned to her human body.
    – Mr Vic
    Feb 27, 2020 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Your response that "the female captain is returned to her human body" makes me think that Exiles of the Stars (1971) by Andre Norton is close enough to suggest as a possible answer. It's not perfect, (and my memory isn't perfectly clear), but it's definitely not a bad match.

First off, the major difference is that the story takes place on an uninhabited world, not an asteroid, and the "miners" are criminals digging up alien relics, not digging for ore.

But a lot of the rest of the details match pretty well:

  • The Thieves Guild uncover a bunch of psychic humanoid precursor aliens preserved in stasis from the distant past.
  • The aliens can use their psychic powers, despite being in stasis, to take control of people (e.g. forcing their bodies to move as directed, or to not move at all).
  • The trader Lydis is psychically forced down, and her crew hunted and some captured.
  • There are a group of 4 even more powerful aliens who are described as physically perfect, who can completely take over anybody, wiping out the previous personality. (This might be what you describe as possession.)
  • Maelen, the dominant of the 2 main characters, is in the body of an animal as a result of events in the previous book.
  • In the climactic fight, Maelen and Kip defeat the aliens in a battle of psychic energy and Maelen manages to take possession of the female alien's (human-ish) body before her animal body dies.

There's a fairly complete plot summary on the Tor website, along with some interesting analysis of the story.

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