6

This novel had a female protagonist as I recall.

A spacecraft was travelling with some purpose, dropped out of hyperspace mid-journey to find a planet with undersea cities and aliens something line sea-stars, with multiple arms, communicated with each other by joining arms, formed a network that way.

I recall that later in the narrative this planet was destroyed.

8

The Gw'oth appear in "Fleet of Worlds", the Ringworld novels by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner, and in three of the sequels.

Lerner has an article about the species on his blog.

A Gw’o loosely resembles a starfish crossed with an octopus. The Gw’o’s five flexible extremities are equally spaced around a disklike central mass. Each tubular tentacle—tubacle—harkens back to the Gwo’s ancestral, free-ranging tube worms. From the mouth inward, arrayed in consecutive rings around the tube’s inner surface, are teeth, eyes, ears, and the myriad chemoreceptors for taste and smell. Shared organs, including most of the central nervous system, reside in the central disk. Flattened and with its tubacles outstretched, a Gw’o spans about two-thirds of a meter.

  • Yes that's it, it was "Fleet of Worlds". Thanks. – Peter Nov 20 '14 at 11:31

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