What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Reddish Human/Alien Hybrid Children Grow up and Take over World. [s]

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message 1: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I read this in the mid-80s. Earth is involved in a great deal of commerce with aliens, but hybrids are strictly forbidden. According to the aliens, such hybrids are invariably dangerous. The story starts with one hybrid boy looking for a place to hide. Eventually he meets two or three others like himself. Once the aliens discover that hybrids exist on Earth, they immediately cut off trade and all contact with the Earth, plunging the planet into a serious global depression. The boys grow up and basically take over the world, each becoming a dictator of a different continent. One of them is killed if I remember correctly.

message 2: by April Ann (last edited Jun 01, 2009 06:37AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Dawn (Book One of the Xenogenesis Series) by Octavia E. Butler Dawn by Octavia E. Butler, 1987.

Summary: The human race, now infertile, fights to maintain its identity when the alien species, Oankali, offers to trade genetic material and bioengineering at the price of metamorphosing a new kind of being.

This is actually the first in a series.

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments April, thanks, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. The aliens were terrified of hybridization and strictly forbade human/alien sex. Also, Dawn takes place after a nuclear war. In the book I read, I'm pretty sure things were fairly stable on Earth when the aliens showed up. The aliens were actually pretty inoffensive. They were just on Earth for a bit of commerce and were actually not even there for most of the book.

I've never read anything by Octavia Butler, but I've heard she was awesome. I must check out her stuff.

message 4: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Octavia Butler is very good, part of the fun of searching for these books is finding new ones.

I'll try to search some more later, are there any keywords that you think might help?

message 5: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 89 comments I tried searching "alien hybrid children book" on Google. That was funny. Apparently there are many people that believe they are part alien. I then added the words "science fiction" to the search, but that did not seem to make a difference!

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments Mawgojzeta, that was a hilarious Google search. I especially enjoyed reading the page with the question from the mother of alien hybrid children wondering if they should be baptized.

April, I can't think of any specific keywords to use, other than maybe "red". Redness was the trait that most distinguished the children from humans. Here are a few more details I recall. I think the story is mostly told from the perspective of one child. I believe he was in hiding with his mother, but she died or was killed. After that, he hid out in the desert until he was taken in by a monastery or convent. When he is older, he finds out about the warning from the aliens about hybrids becoming dangerous and powerful and tries to warn the others. I think the global economic collapse that results from the aliens cutting off trade with the earth created a lot of political instability, allowing the hybrids to take control.

message 7: by April Ann (last edited Jun 02, 2009 06:33AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments I'm going to put Men, Martians and Machines (Classics of Modern Science Fiction 1) by Eric Frank Russell Men, Martians and Machines by Eric Frank Russel, 1984. It keeps coming up in searches.

Can't really find a defining description though.

While I'm at it, I might as well throw in Jernigan's Egg by Richard Mueller, 1986.
Summary: After the murder of a close friend, Kevin Jernigan, an actor, is pursued by unknown enemies and must try to escape to another planet

message 8: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments And LOL to the google thing, just type in "types of alien beings" and see what you get...

message 9: by Kinsey (last edited Jun 02, 2009 10:04AM) (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I'm pretty sure it's neither of those. They both involve leaving Earth, and in the book I read everything took place on Earth. Only the aliens had interstellar travel, and they abandoned the Earth very early on. Also, the book I read was acquired used in 1984 or 1985, so anything published after that couldn't be it. It may have been quite old. I'm actually surprised that the book is turning out to be so obscure. I wish I had hung onto it. :)

message 10: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Do you think it was between 1960 and 1985 or maybe 1950? I could narrow the years down and type in a more general keyword.

message 11: by April Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2009 08:20AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Planet of Whispers by James P. Kelly, 1984. This one talks further about widespread famine in the review.

Summary: The cat-like aliens of the planet Chan attempt to trade the secret to long life to the Messengers in exchange for much-needed wheat.


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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments April, it's definitely not Planet of Whispers. Nothing in that description rang a bell. The aliens in the book I read are rather uninteresting, and I don't think they are well-described.

My impression is that the book was older scifi, perhaps from the 1950s, but I may be wrong. There is also a slim chance that it is an A. E. Van Vogt novel, as I was reading books by him at roughly the same time, but I haven't found anything by him that sounds right.

Thank you for all your research.

message 13: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments No problem I'll look some more when I have time...I'm sure the right combination of keywords might just hit.. I've even been pushing the search back to the 40's.

message 14: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Here's an article on wiki about "alien invasion" in literature. Perhaps one of the titles mentioned or one of the authors would match?


message 15: by April Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2009 08:07AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments It's not Slan A Novel by A.E. Van Vogt Slan A Novel by A.E. Van Voight? The image on the cover is a red human figure? Published in 1940.

Summary: After escaping extermination by the humans, young Jommy Cross searches for the meaning of the Slans' great mental superiority.

Here's Van Voight on Fantastic Fiction..he has a gazillion books!


His wife wrote a few books as well, with his guidance.


message 16: by April Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2009 08:51AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments I'm posting some books that fall under these subject headings. I also posted the earlier books that came up. Maybe if none of these are a hit, perhaps it could be another from an author of that time frame.

Subject Headings:
Human-alien encounters
Science fiction, America

The Reefs of Earth by R.A. Lafferty The Reefs of Earth by R.A. Lafferty, 1968

The Embedding by Ian Watson, 1975.

Methuselah's Children by Robert A. Heinlein Methuselah's Children by Robert A. Heilein. 1958

Summary: Endowed with remarkable longevity and threatened by the efforts of fellow earthmen to uncover their secret, the Families flee the planet in an untested rocket.

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin, 1972.

Summary: The colonizing earthmen's persistent exploitation and abuse of the Athsheans' delicately balanced culture and ecology forebode extraterrestrial genocide or vengeful rebellion.

message 17: by April Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2009 08:50AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, 1958.

Kirkus Reviews /* Starred Review */ Midwich, an English village of "utter undistinction" is isolated, immobilized and anesthetized during a "dayout", returns to normal- save for the impregnation of the entire female population- a problem faced with some apprehension but handled with great discretion. The golden-eyed babies, when born, have only this one common characteristic, but soon reveal other behavioral idiosyncrasies and the changeling children become a collective menace to which one man finally proves equal... A fantasy, which is also a fable of sterner implications, handles its evolutionary embarrassment with a disarming humor.
(Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 1957)

A Mirror For Observers by Edgar Pangborn A Mirror For Observers by Edgar Pangborn.

Kirkus Reviews A concern for mankind and the battle between good and evil, in terms of the future -- and the future beyond that-, replace the usual superscience focus as the emissary of the Counselor comes to earth in 1963 and 1972 to counter the challenge of Namir who hates the human race. Following Angelo and Sharon, Elmis is successful in seeing humanity redeem and justify itself, in spite of corruption and plague. Philosophy rather than gimmicks here, for a more serious market.
(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1953)

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, 1953.

Summary: Overlords from outer space dominate the world, eliminating its evils before they destroy it.

message 18: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments April, thanks for all the info. The Wikipedia article was interesting, but nothing in it rang a bell. The book probably doesn't count as a story of alien invasion, since the hybrids knew virtually nothing of their alien heritage and were not bringing aliens to Earth. I'm pretty sure I've read Slan, and that is not it. The Reefs of Earth sound very interesting, and I've added it to my "to read" list, but it's definitely not the book I read.

Thank you for all your help and research. :)

message 19: by April Ann (last edited Jun 03, 2009 11:12AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments You're welcome, every little bit of info helps. I found this book but I can find much description.

Alien Thunder by Gail Freeman

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Walker discovers the alarming significance of the ominous thunder that his younger brother heard when their mother nearly drowned in the lake.

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments The one Amazon review for the book says:

"This was a great book that anyone would enjoy! It is funny, and creative. Gaail Freeman shows what it is like to be a teenager and deal with family problems."

That's definitely not it. The book I read was not funny or particularly creative, and there were no families that I can remember. Actually, one reason the book may be so obscure is that it wasn't all that good. :)

message 21: by April Ann (last edited Jun 04, 2009 05:07AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Was there a war? If so, between who? Was there telepathy involved?

And...it doesn't have to be a five star book to be on the reviews I'm searching!
Does A Mirror for Observers have more similarites? I'm going to try some "read alikes".

And I'm assuming this is Science Fiction by an American author?

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I don't specifically recall telepathy but can't rule it out. There was at least on civil war in Africa or South America, where at least one of the hybrids led the rebels and rose to power by winning and taking over a continent. "A Mirror for Observers" seems very different from what I read. The author was probably American, but I really don't know.

One book that does have some similarities is David Brin's Earth, which has three boys who are friends and then separate to find their destinies in different parts of an unstable world. But of course, they are not hybrids, and they don't become ruthless dictators.

message 23: by April Ann (last edited Jun 04, 2009 12:19PM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments War of the Wing-Men by Poul Anderson

Author:by Poul Anderson, with new introductions by Charles N. Brown and Sandra MieselSeries,
Volume:Technic history series, 1Publication Information:Gregg Press 1976, copyright 1958. 160p.Notes:Reprint of the 1958 ed. published by Ace Books.

Originally published in Astounding, Feb.-Apr. 1958, under title: The man who counts.

Headings:Aliens (Non-humanoid)
Space flight
Twenty-third century
Science fiction, American

The People of the Wind by Poul Anderson The People of the Wind by Poul Anderson, 1977.

Summary: Two races descended from terrestrials and aliens live in peace on the planet Avalon, until their star-traveling peoples collide in a war that will force the Avalonians to take sides.

Alien Main by T.L. Sherrod, 1985.
Summary: Fifty years after the nearly total annihilation of Earth by war and disease, three agents of the galactic federation set out to reopen contact with the closed world and reestablish trade with the planet's shattered civilization

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I'm pretty sure it's none of those.

I couldn't find much in the way of a summary for War of the Wing-Men, but based on the cover art (and title), it's not the book. There were definitely no winged aliens flying around in the story.

The People of the Wind sounds quite interesting, but the book I read definitely takes place on Earth, and the aliens are only around for the first chapter or so.

Alien Main also doesn't sound right. The book I read takes place during and before Earth's isolation. I don't think the aliens ever come back. They're too afraid of the existence of hybrids. (And rightly so.)

message 25: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Could it have been a part of a series? Here's a list:

Skylark of Space and Lensman by E.E. Smith
Galactic Center series by Gregory Benford
Eon series by Greg Baer
Fall of the Towers by Samuel R. Delaney

These are all from the 60's and 70's.

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I'm pretty sure it wasn't part of a series. There wasn't much of a back story at the beginning, and the ending really didn't leave anywhere to go afterwards. It may have been one story in an anthology, but my impression is that it was long enough to have been a short novel.

I really hope that I'm not misremembering some important detail which is completely throwing off the search, but my impression is that I am remembering it fairly clearly.

message 27: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments I've been skimming over any short stories that pop up, I'll see if I can find some that might match. It will probably not be until tomorrow though.

message 28: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments That's fine. You've already done an incredible amount of work looking for my book.

message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1396 comments Kinsey, Keep checking back. April (thanks for all your work April) or someone else may find it. We also get new members in here all the time who might know it very well and post.

message 30: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I leave e-mail notifications on, so even if it gets solved a year from now, I'll find out.

message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1396 comments That's great Kinsey!

message 32: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments At least we know what book it's NOT!! :)

message 33: by April Ann (last edited Jun 06, 2009 06:48AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) | 516 comments Listen, Listen by Kate Wilhelm Listen, Listen by Kate Wilhelm, 1981.

Summary: Includes four provocative novellas--"The Winter Beach" and "With Thimbles, with Forks, and Hope," previously unpublished, and "Moongate" and "Julian"--as well as an essay on the author's philosophy of fiction, "The Uncertain Edge of Reality".

River of Time by David Brin River of Time by David Brin, 1987.

Eleven stories deal with a team searching for extraterrestrials, a strange epidemic, parallel worlds, space exploration, a memory drug, androids, and a man hunted by aliens.

Limits by Larry Nivin, 1985.

Stories deal with alien observers, Atlantis, etiquette with extraterrestrials, ruthless killing machines, and colonies on other planets

message 34: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments The Brin book is a bit too recent, and he's way too good an author to have written this.

I don't think it was a Niven work, but it may have been. I know I read the story in 84 or 85 and that it was a used book that I acquired in a third world country, so a 1985 copyright is extremely unlikely (but theoretically possible).

"Listen Listen" is a possibility. I don't recognize the cover, the title, or the names of the short stories, but I remember reading "Juniper Time" by Kate Wilhelm and have a vague memory that I may have tackled a second book by her at around the same time. It's too bad there doesn't seem to be any sort of summary of these stories anywhere on the internet. I'll order a copy next time I'm in the US (in September) and check it out if this hasn't been solved by then. I'll post here if it's the book.

message 35: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments I'm still looking for this book.

message 36: by Brian (new)

Brian (furicle) Sure it isn't http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16... (mentioned earlier) It ends with a war... but the part about aliens knowing and forbidding doesn't fit.

message 37: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments Brian, sorry I didn't notice your reply until now. Unfortunately, that is definitely not the book. The details are too different, and nothing clicked for me when I read the synopsis and a few reviews.

message 38: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40168 comments Mod
Kinsey, are you still looking for this?

message 39: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments Yes, I'm still looking.

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Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments bump

message 41: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40168 comments Mod
Still looking?

message 42: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments Yes. If I ever find it, I'll post the title here.

message 43: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40168 comments Mod
Still looking now?

message 44: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments Yes, I still don't know the title.

message 45: by Ayshe (new)

message 46: by Kinsey (new) - added it

Kinsey Swartz (tvindy) | 131 comments Ayshe wrote: "Starbreed by Martha deMey Clow maybe?"

Yes! Thank you, Ayshe! That is the book. It took eight years to find.

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