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I am trying to remember a book I read years ago. There were a large numbers of planets, with different races. A militant species located an alien and started trying to train it to use as a weapon. It was black, misty, goopy, maybe? At one point, it tried to escape and they electrified it with the floor, almost killing it, but not quite. Later it did escape.

At the same time, there was another plot involving a drug that was very addictive.

It ends with an old alien waking up from hibernation, the last of an ancient race that helped contain the evil misty goopy thing eons ago. He mentally battles it, effectively at first, but slowly loses until he's about to lose completely. Luckily, someone spills the drug onto the the evil goopy alien and damages it, which distracts it. It loses and dies, and so everyone is safe.

2 Answers 2

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Bloodhype by Alan Dean Foster

The Humanx Commonwealth is often threatened by the AAnn empire. On a remote planet the AAnn discover a large black amoebic creature that is almost indestructible. They bring it to an AAnn research lab on a planet with a human colony. The AAnn hope to train the amoebas to be a weapon.

What they don't know is the amoeba is the dreaded Vom, a aeons-old creature that devastates empires. The AAnn are playing with fire. It is weak now after being starved for a thousand years. But it is rapidly regaining its strength.

Thousands of years ago another alien race managed to defeat the Vom, though they could not kill it. They put one of their species in suspended animation as a guardian. It travels to the planet where the Vom is.

Meanwhile in a totally separate plot thread, a powerful and evil drug dealer has arrived with a supply of Bloodhype, an illegal addictive drug that will affect any alien species that breathes oxygen. Dealing in Bloodhype is punishable by death.

At the final battle when the guardian tries to exterminate the Vom, the guardian was losing. Until the Vom eats the drug dealer and the supply of Bloodhype. The drug weakens the Vom enough so that the guardian can kill it.

US Del Rey paperback cover of Bloodhype

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  • Yes, thank you!
    – Kelderic
    Jul 30, 2020 at 11:31
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Alan Dean Foster, Bloodhype (1973). Although it comes late in the internal chronology it was the second book that Foster wrote in the Humanx Commonwealth universe.

The black alien is the Vom, a formless perfect predator who can feed on virtually any physical or chemical energy. The militant race is the AAnn, who found the Vom stranded on a sunless, airless world. They bring the Vom to a secret base on the Humanx world of Repler to study and attempt to use/train it. (This is when they have the electrified floor; the AAnn don't realize the Vom is intelligent and are attempting to train it using primitive pain/reward techniques.)

The drug is Bloodhype, carried by a drug smuggler also to Repler. It is described as universally effective and instantly addictive. The smuggler is pursued by agents Lieutenants Kai-sung and Porsupah who enlist the help of Captain Hammurabi to catch him.

The Vom escapes and starts to feed on the life of Repler (starting with the AAnn); the Guardian, the last Tar-Aiym (the old alien) who has pursued the Vom to Repler fights it with the aid of one Flinx. The fight is nearly evenly matched until the smuggler, fleeing the agents, get incidentally eaten by the Vom, which then ingests the Bloodhype. The drug destabilizes the Vom's defense enough for it to be completely defeated; it dissolves into the ocean of Repler.

Flinx, his mind partially upgraded by the Guardian, gets in his ship and leaves as the other heroes party.

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  • Yes, that's it, thank you!
    – Kelderic
    Jul 30, 2020 at 11:32

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