I read this novel about 15-20 years ago. I don't remember if it was recent at that time or much older.

It was quite complicated and involved several different threads. But I remember only one of them. There is a planet with vaguely wolf-like predators who are sentient individually, but who can also join their minds telepathically. The "collective mind" that emerges from this joining (not a large group, half-a-dozen minds or so, it is a very small "hive") can have a very different personality than the individuals. IIRC, one point-of-view character has a rather nice personality and does not know that she (? I think I remember that was a female, but I am not sure) is part of an extremely unpleasant "collective".

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    Yes indeed, the answer is the same. But there was no common topic in my question and this one. What I remembered was the "hive-mind" of the Tines, nothing else, and this is not mentioned in the other question
    – Alfred
    Dec 5, 2019 at 12:31
  • +1 @Alfred Next someone will be saying that the question "How many qualities composed the slogan of the French revolution" on History.SE should be closed because it already has an answer in "What is 2+1?" on Math.SE. ;)
    – Lexible
    Jun 15, 2020 at 16:16
  • @Lexible (CC Alfred) you might want to read up on how [story-identification] duplicates work. We close them when they have the same answer. See here for a relevant meta on the matter. Whether different parts are remember is irrelevant, it helps keep them all together.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jun 15, 2020 at 16:38
  • @TheLethalCarrot I read through the linked meta article and a few linked from there: and I do not see much of a consensus about "We close them when they have the same answer," although I do see folks arguing against that position. Did I misread (super plausible), or did you intent to drop a different link?
    – Lexible
    Jul 3, 2020 at 4:26
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    @Lexible the top two answers, the top out scoring the opposing position 22/9, on the linked meta say close them when they have the same answer as confirmed by the OP. If that’s not much of a consensus I don’t know what is.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 3, 2020 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


Sounds like the Tines from the Vernor Vinge novel "A Fire Upon the Deep".

From Wikipedia:

A canid race, each "person" comprising a group mind of 4–8 members, which communicate by emitting ultrasonic waves from drumlike organs called "tympana". Each "soul" can survive and evolve by adding members to replace those who die, potentially for hundreds of years, as Woodcarver does.

  • Yes, this looks vey much like it. The group called "Flenserists" might well be my "unpleasant" one. If I could just get confirmation that one of the "Flenserists", when alone is a rather nice "Tine" (a female?) I'll be 100% convinced. I'm trying to find this indication with the title you gave.
    – Alfred
    Dec 5, 2019 at 1:49
  • It's been a long time since I read it, and I am 2000 miles from my copy. I'll see what I can find online. Dec 5, 2019 at 1:50
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    @Alfred check out this blog - it sounds like one of the Tines at least pretended to be nice. google.com/amp/s/matthilliard.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/… Dec 5, 2019 at 2:01
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    So actually, when the Tines were a group mind, they were on the level of a human, on average. Individual Tines were actually somewhere on the level of a smart dog. If some individuals left or were added to the group, the personality itself of the Tine would change. What you're thinking of is Flenser, who split his group-selves, (to avoid assassination) and co-opted other Tine packs to travel back to his stronghold. In this case, the two original Flenser Tines were male, and they made a new group from a school teacher (her three Tine bodies were female). And so there was self-identity conflict.
    – yulerule
    Dec 5, 2019 at 5:19
  • Definitely my story !
    – Alfred
    Dec 5, 2019 at 7:42

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