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A group mind, group ego, mind coalescence, or gestalt intelligence in science fiction is a plot device in which multiple minds, or consciousnesses, are linked into a single, collective consciousness or intelligence.[1][2] The first alien hive society was depicted in H. G. Wells's The First Men in the Moon (1901) while the use of human hive minds in literature goes back at least as far as David H. Keller's The Human Termites (published in Wonder Stories in 1929) and Olaf Stapledon's science fiction novel Last and First Men (1930),[3][4] which is the first known use of the term "group mind" in science fiction.[5][2] The use of the phrase "hive mind", however, was first recorded in 1943 in use in bee keeping and its first known use in sci-fi was James H. Schmitz's Second Night of Summer (1950).[6][7] A group mind might be formed by any fictional plot device that facilitates brain to brain communication, such as telepathy.

This term may be used interchangeably with hive mind.[7][8] "Hive mind" tends to describe a group mind in which the linked individuals have no identity or free will and are possessed or mind-controlled as extensions of the hive mind. It is frequently associated with the concept of an entity that spreads among individuals and suppresses or subsumes their consciousness in the process of integrating them into its own collective consciousness. The concept of the group or hive mind is an intelligent version of real-life superorganisms such as a beehive or an ant colony.

Some hive minds feature members that are controlled by a centralised "hive brain" or "hive queen" while others feature a decentralised approach where members interact equally or roughly equally to come to decisions.[9] Hive minds are typically viewed in a negative light, especially in earlier works, though some newer works portray them as neutral or positive.[3][10]

List of hive minds

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As conceived in speculative fiction, hive minds often imply (almost) complete loss (or lack) of individuality, identity, and personhood. The individuals forming the hive may specialize in different functions, similarly to social insects.[citation needed]









Television series


Tabletop games

Video games


List of non-hive group minds

A group mind that is not a hive mind: the individuals retain their identities and free will, and can join or sever from the group mind of their own volition. Some examples can have characteristics of both a hive mind and group mind. There is not always a clear cut dividing line: some Star Trek Borg drones such as Seven of Nine have been forcibly split from the collective.

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ "Coalescing minds: brain uploading-related group mind scenarios" by Kaj Sotala, Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki
  2. ^ a b "Group Mind n.". Brave new words : Oxford dictionary of science fiction. Prucher, Jeff. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2009. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-19-538706-3. OCLC 319869032.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b Stableford, Brian M; Langford, David (June 13, 2017). "Hive Minds". In Clute, John; Langford, David; Nicholls, Peter; Sleight, Graham (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (3rd ed.). London: Gollancz.
  4. ^ "Group Ego by Robert Heinlein from Methuselah's Children". Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  5. ^ "group mind n." Science Fiction Citations for the OED. Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  6. ^ Zimmer, Ben (2015-12-29). "'Hive Mind,' From Beekeeping to Economics". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  7. ^ a b "Hive Mind n.". Brave new words : Oxford dictionary of science fiction. Prucher, Jeff. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2009. pp. 88–89. ISBN 978-0-19-538706-3. OCLC 319869032.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "What is another word for "group mind"?". Word Hippo. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  9. ^ Sokol, Joshua (2019-05-14). "Striking Down the Queen Won't Save You From the Swarm (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  10. ^ Stableford, Brian M. (Jan 1, 1987). The Sociology of Science Fiction (PDF) (PhD). University of York.
  11. ^ Shaviro, Steven (25 August 2014). "Ferociously Intellectual Pulp Writing". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  12. ^ Jekel, Peter. "Our Machine Destiny". Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  13. ^ "Blasting bugs is more complicated than you think". the Guardian. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  14. ^ "Mark Burman on John Wyndham biography Beware the Stare". The Guardian. 2003-12-05. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  15. ^ Roberts, Tansy Rayner (2015-06-22). "Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Mistress of the Empire, Part 15". Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  16. ^ "A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies". March 14, 2006. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  17. ^ Spinrad, Norman (1990). Science Fiction in the Real World. SIU Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-8093-1671-7.
  18. ^ Berry, Michael (1995-01-08). "A High-Tech Victorian Romp". SFGATE. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  19. ^ a b "10 Books That Will Change the Way You Understand the Mind". io9. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  20. ^ "Confusion of Princes, A--Garth Nix". Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  21. ^ Everything You Need to Know About Ender's Game - IGN, retrieved 2020-12-24
  22. ^ Griffith, Eric (2013-11-01). "7 Child Prodigies Worse Than Ender Wiggin". PCMag UK. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  23. ^ Rosenberg, Alyssa. "What fantasy and sci-fi novels get right about foreign policy". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  24. ^ Sl, Alex (2014-11-18). "PhyloBotanist: Foundation's Edge". PhyloBotanist. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  25. ^ "The SF Site Featured Review: The Skinner". SF Site. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  26. ^ Berlyne, John (2002). "The Skinner by Neil Asher". SFRevu. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  27. ^ "The SF Site Featured Review: Einstein's Bridge". SF Site. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  28. ^ "EINSTEIN'S BRIDGE". Kirkus Reviews. May 1, 1997.
  29. ^ "Einstein's Bridge, by John G. Cramer". Turing Church. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  30. ^ Jackson, Charlie Jane Anders and Gordon. "10 Reasons Why Alien Invasions of Earth Always Fail". io9. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  31. ^ "15 Most Ridiculous Buffy the Vampire Slayer Villains". ScreenRant. 2017-03-05. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  32. ^ "Warhammer 40K: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Tyranids". Game Rant. 2020-07-15. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  33. ^ Mass Effect 2 - Legion on the Nature of Reapers
  34. ^ Fast, Howard (1960). The First Men. Letter dated June 2, 1964. Retrieved 18 July 2017.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location (link)
  35. ^ Smith, D. Alexander (1982). Marathon. Ace. pp. 250. ISBN 0-441-51943-1.