This was many years ago and I cannot even remember whether this was a novel or a short story. I do recall the symbiotic organisms described their hosts(us/humans) by the number of holes/orifices we had as opposed to male or female.

Sound familiar to anyone?

10 to 15 years maybe? But it could have been older at that time, I like the old anthologies, mags, and collections, My library/house burned in 2007 and it was a couple years before that at least.

what i remember is the descriptions of the hosts having 7 'holes/doors/etc' on top (head) and either 2(m) or 3(f) 'holes/entrance/exits' on the bottom (or base maybe)? It was very first person from their view but I think the organisms were also male and female or 'married' to another symbiot/parasite but in other host like a couple behind the scenes of 'our' couples.

Sorry thats all i remember, I was thinking I never finished the story and would like to as I really enjoyed the perspective, I dont remember whether they were "in control" of the host but i remember we(humans) were very un aware and not even recognized as intelligent (by our 'masters').

  • This reminds me of Ozzy & Drix, but obviously this is not what you're looking for. Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


The "story told from the symbiotic organism point of view while living inside humans" sounds like 'Needle' by Hal Clement, published 1950, but I don't remember any "identification of humans by number of orifices" from that story.

Plot summary from Wikipedia:

The Hunter, an alien lifeform (when not inside another being, resembling a four-pound green jellyfish) with the ability to live in symbiosis with and within another creature, is in hot pursuit of another of his kind. Both crash their ships into Earth, in the Pacific Ocean, and both survive the crashes.

The Hunter makes its way to shore (its erstwhile host having been killed in the crash) and takes up residence in the nearest human being it can find (as it turns out, fifteen-year-old Robert Kinnaird) without letting the human being know. By the time it has figured out enough of what goes on inside a human being to look through Bob's eyes, it is shocked to find itself within an air vessel, being carried further away from its quarry every second. As it happens, Bob is simply returning to a New England boarding school from his home on an industrial island in the Western Pacific.

  • And it sounds like it's just males who are being resided in in the book.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 15:41

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