8

This is fantasy, not SF. It was a novel, alone in its own book, but it was a rather small book. And I read it in the 60's, I am sure. (I understand that the tag "fantasy" should not be used for a question to identify a fantasy story, only on questions on the genre itself)

It starts rather small scale, a girl (I think) who could control insects, bees if I remember properly, and uses them to pester another child (probably a boy) who has ways to get rid of the bees. Then it starts escalating.

In the end it becomes an epic fight between the forces of Good and those of Evil. I remember that the Zoroastrian deities Ahura Mazda and Ahriman are mentioned (I got this spelling in Wikipedia right now, the spelling in the book might well have been different but I am sure they were the ones from Zoroastrian religion)

  • Well, the OP accepted the same answer. So it is indeed a duplicate. Once more, the "box" that opened when I asked my question did not mention the "Good vs Evil" question. – Alfred Nov 25 '19 at 18:26
10

This sounds like Philip K. Dick's The Cosmic Puppets (1957).

Quoting from the Wikipedia summary since I don't have the book handy:

Mary and Peter are in fact engaged in a low-intensity supernatural proxy war against one another. She can only use bees, moths, cats and flies against his control over golems, spiders, snakes and rats, and initially seems to kill Mary through his servitors.

Up until the 80s when it was finally reprinted, it was mostly available in an Ace double with Norton's Sargasso of Space.

  • 1
    Arrgh! You answered one minute before me! I have thought about that book a lot in the last few years, perhaps to answer another question in this site. – M. A. Golding Nov 23 '19 at 18:48
  • I just checked Wikipedia. They do mention Ahriman and Ormazd, which is another spelling for Ahura Mazda. So it is indeed my story ! Thanks – Alfred Nov 23 '19 at 19:00
  • @M.A.Golding I'm sure you'll have your chance to ding me. Story-id is a dog-eat-dog world after all... :) – DavidW Nov 23 '19 at 19:15
  • @M.A.Golding I have upvoted your comment.... I hope it is some kind of consolation.. ;) – Alfred Nov 23 '19 at 22:10
  • Sometimes you're better off doing a search for some of the more unusual keywords - in this case, it's likely that you'd have found the duplicate if you'd searched for "Ahriman" and/or "Ormazd". Just sayin'... – Jeff Zeitlin Nov 25 '19 at 20:29

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