I don't remember if it is sa short story or not, I believe it is.

The premises is a group of people are stuck or are traveling on an alien planet. They all get captured by a goo like mindless creature that dissolves their bodies. However, their brains and minds become absorbed into the creature and they all remain conscious of themselves creating a little telepathic circle of sort (cause they are all absorbed into this single good creature). The creature itself is not intelligent, but it sort of becomes intelligent because it now hosts several intelligent people.

At first these people are confused and unsure of what to do, eventually they start arguing and feeling angry. Then they realize the feeling of anger is subconscious manifestation of hunger and so they feed their goo body with wildlife the same way creature fed on them. However, since they are conscious, they never dissolve any brains because they do not know how this whole process of absorbing consciousness works with wildlife and they do not want to let a wild animal consciousness into their little telepathic circle.

Eventually this group has a conflict among themselves and split into 2 sides. I believe the creatures intuitive reflex (it is not intelligent after all) to prevent further conflict and potential damage to itself was to discard the brains/consciousness of one of the side.

This is a story I read about 20 years ago. Anyone has any clues who the author and what the title is?

Thanks for any insight

  • Good amount of detail mate! Could you please change the title to a be more descriptive and 'searchable' please?
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 1:34
  • I updated the title. Can't believe its a duplicate! I spent about 2 hours searching for 'dissolved by goo' and variations but I guess I never came up with 'absorbed' and 'blob' combination.
    – George
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 12:55
  • The creature does not intervene. When it splits into 2 critters with 2 brains in each, there is a fight in each. In one, the two men fight until a rock crushes the 'bad' brain. In the other the 'good' girl grows a skull for defense and wishes the other brain was gone so hard the critter excretes it. It also isn't quite telepathy, but a joining of the nerves from the individual brains. Contact is lost when the critter splits.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


The story is "Four in One" by Damon Knight. This blog post has a summary that matches your description.

  • Yes! That is it! I spent several hours on google trying to find this :) Thank you very much
    – Yuriy
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 2:20

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