I vaguely remember a SciFi novel from my younger days, where scientists discover "alternative" forms of power beside electromagnetism.

I do not remember the specific forms, but it was something along the lines of "electrogravity", "magnetogravity" etc. -- you get the idea. If I remember correctly, the effects of these power forms were basically psionic / magic in nature.

Unfortunately I remember very little of the actual plot, and couldn't put it into words with any coherency. Some treachery from within the group of scientists, perhaps some involvement of aliens? I cannot really remember. I just remember I enjoyed the story very much, and would like to re-read it.

The title could be "The fifth column" or similar -- then again I might be confusing two seperate novels.

I know that's not much, sorry. Anyone remembers this?

2 Answers 2


This sounds like Robert Heinlein's Sixth Column, also published under the variant title The Day After Tomorrow:

A top secret research facility hidden in the Colorado mountains is the last remaining outpost of the United States Army after its defeat by the PanAsians. The conquerors had absorbed the Soviets after being attacked by them and had then gone on to absorb India as well. The invaders are depicted as ruthless and cruel—for example, they crush an abortive rebellion by killing 150,000 American civilians as punishment. Noting that the invaders have allowed the free practice of religion (the better to pacify their slaves), the Americans set up a church of their own in order to build a resistance movement—the Sixth Column (as opposed to a traitorous fifth column).

The laboratory is in turmoil as the novel begins. All but six of the personnel have died suddenly, due to unknown forces released by an experiment operating within the newly discovered magneto-gravitic or electro-gravitic spectra. The surviving scientists soon learn that they can selectively kill people by releasing the internal pressure of their cell membranes, among other things. Using this discovery they construct a race-selective weapon which will kill only Asians.

  • Spot-on, that's it.
    – DevSolar
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 13:05

This might be "The lost perception" a.k.a "A Scourge of Screamers" by Daniel F. Galouye.

In the story a "galactic body" at the center of the galaxy emanates a radiation that enables psionic abilities. Earth had long been shielded from that radiation by a cosmic nebula or something like it - after it emerges from the shadow the effects manifest themselves as a disease, from the survivors emerge with the eponimous "perception" from the title. Seeing themselves as superior they try to take over the world. There are also two factions of aliens involved, one with their own plans for word domination and one more friendly to humankind.

I'm not sure when you had your younger days, but the book is from 1968.

  • Not it, but sounds interesting read nevertheless. ;-)
    – DevSolar
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 13:06

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