I keep wanting to refer to this short story when discussing the movie Avatar with friends, but I can't remember the name or who wrote it.

In the story, a researcher projects his consciousness into the body of an artificial ant. The ant body was metal, and it was, to the ants being studied, completely indestructible. The ants learned to lure the researcher into tunnels and then collapse them, burying the artificial ant.

Over time, the researcher began to identify more with the ants than his colleagues. They began to worry that he was spending too much time projecting his consciousness, and he seriously creeped out a woman (a fellow researcher?) with his increasingly antlike behavior.

By the end of the story, the character had alienated many (most?) of those around him.

1 Answer 1


This sounds a little like "Empire of the Ants" by Bernard Werber, but that book takes place with the man in question already dead, and his relatives piecing together what happened with his experiments with the ants afterwards. There is also a narrative from the point of view of one of the ants in the colony he was studying. It might be the one you are interested it, or perhaps one of its sequels?

  • While the researcher was alive at the end of the story I'm trying to recall, "Empire of the Ants" does sound interesting.
    – wil
    Aug 30, 2013 at 15:26

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