I'm trying to find the name of this book I read in the past couple of years.

The book was about a sentient lifeform (I can't recall what kind, something that normally isn't sentient — the planet itself? Rocks? Mould? Insects? I honestly can't remember!) that would enslave other life on the planet and incorporate them as part of itself. It would colonise other planets by sending copies of itself out.

I remember a scene where some non infected/enslaved humans visited the planet, and some gore was involved.

I apologise for the sparse details, but this is all I can actually remember! It seemed reasonably modern.


4 Answers 4


This sounds a bit like the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton, which are two books where the main threat to humans is a colony organism that behaves much like your description. There are significant portions of the books which are written from the colony organism's point of view, which has evolved to eradicate all other life and even other rival colonies in its homeworld.

In the first book, Pandora's Star, Humans travel to the star system where the organism has been trapped, inadvertently disable the mechanism trapping the creature and causing two of the humans to be captured. The organism is rather indelicate in extracting information from one of humans - which may be the gore you remember.

The second book, Judas Unchained, goes on to cover the subsequent invasion of human worlds by the colony, and attempts by humans to defeat it.

Other aspects of the books that might resonate if this is the correct answer:

Humans typically travel between worlds via artificial wormholes - meaning interstellar travel is by trains rather than ships (although, a ship is built to reach the colony's homeworld).

Humans have incorporated cybernetic technology to various degrees, including weapons and the ability to experience simulated emotion as entertainment. They also have neural backups and cloning - essentially allowing immortality through transference.

There are other alien in the books, including an apparently advanced elf-like race which seems to live a post-technology existence.


This could be the first book of The Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton.

The aliens (called Primes) create copies of themselves to take over other planets, and there is a scene where 2 members of a human crew sent to investigate the Prime planet are captured and rather messily dissected by the main Prime alien.


It's possibly "Seedling of Mars" by Clark Ashton Smith. You can read it here for free. There's a sentient plant (I'll let you guess whence it comes), a seed sent to enslave Earth, a group of scientists taken to Mars: I don't remember if there's gore though. The plant is looking for water.


This question reminds me of Raymond Z. Gallun's Martian colony plants which were joined together in a single mind across the entire planet.

They appear in the short story "Seeds of the DusK" (1938) and also in the novel The Planet Strappers (1961). And possibly in other stories which I haven't read.



And I note that "Seeds of the Dusk" is said to be in the "When Earth is Old" series along with "When Earth is Old".


"Seeds of the Dusk", like The War of the Worlds, was based on obsolete ideas that the farther a world was from the Sun, the sooner it would have formed and acquired life and the soon it would die and become lifess.

When the world of the intelligent plants was almost dead, they would launch gazillions of spores into space and some of them would land on a world which was dying but not yet as far gone.

But the growths which were the last civilized beings of Mars had not originated there. Once they had been on the satellites of Jupiter, too. And before that--well, perhaps even the race memory of their kind lost the record of this dim, distant ages. Always they had waited their chance, and when the time came--when a world was physically suited tor their developlment--they had acted.

But who knew? Out of the void to Ganymede the invaders had come. Across space to Mars. Riding light to Earth. Perhaps when the time came--when Venus was growing old----

And I have read other stories about planets were all life was joined into a single organism, though I don't remember them as well.

One would be Murrey Leinster's "The Plants" (1946)


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