A group mind
or group ego
in science fiction is a single consciousness occupying many bodies. Its use in literature goes back at least as far as Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men
, a 1930 science fiction novel
A group mind might be formed by telepathy
, by adding brain-to-brain communication to ordinary individuals, or by some unspecified means. This term may be used interchangeably with "hive mind". A hive mind
is a group mind with almost complete loss (or lack) of individual identity; most fictional group minds are hives. The concept of the group
or hive mind
is an intelligent version of real-life superorganisms
such as ants or bees.
List of hive minds
Hive minds are group minds with (almost) complete loss (or lack) of individuality
, and personhood
. The individuals forming the hive may specialize in different functions, similarly to social insects
- The Bohrok in the Bionicle Lego saga.
- The Aparoids in Star Fox: Assault
- The Beast in Homeworld: Cataclysm
- The Bebebebeque in Larry Niven's The Draco Tavern
- The Borg in Star Trek. The Borg Queen takes a coordinator role; the drones are indistinguishable, though they have species identifications and individual designators. Some Borg unconsciously retain their identities in Unimatrix Zero.
- The Bringers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The Bugs in Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. They include workers, warriors, brains, and queens
- The evolving children, part of the Over-Mind at the end of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End
- The alien children in The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (Also known as Village of the Damned).
- The C-Consciousness (О-Сознание in Russian) in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.
- The Compositions (such as the Bellipotent Composition) in The Golden Age and its sequels.
- The Comprise in Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers
- Groups of cranium rats in the Planescape campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
- The Conjoiners in Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space universe
- The [Crimborg] in The Kingdom of Loathing
- The Cybermen in Doctor Who are connected via computer link, so that each individual knows what the group knows.
- The cyborg army of CABAL in the Firestorm expansion pack to Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
- The coalescent hives from Stephen Baxter's Destiny's Children series
- The Rutan Host in Doctor Who
- The Dark People in The Longest Journey and Dreamfall.
- The Destroyers in Guild Wars: Eye of the North
- The Drummers in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age
- The Flood parasite in Halo Series. Kills and revives victims, stripping needed information from the brain. Controlled by the Gravemind "compound mind."
- The Formics in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind)
- Gah Lak Tus, the Ultimate Marvel version of Galactus, is depicted as a massive swarm of robots forming a collective mind.
- The Hive Mind in Neal Asher's novel The Skinner
- The Hive Mind in John Cramer's novel Einstein's Bridge
- The Invid race in Robotech
- Ygramul in The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
- The Kharaa (alien species) in Natural Selection
- The Klackon in the Master of Orion series
- The Little Green Men (LMGs) from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
- The Majat in the novel Serpent's Reach by C. J. Cherryh
- The '''Modron (Dungeons & Dragons).
- Man in The Last Question
- The Machines in the Matrix trilogy form a seemingly connected mind, especially at the end of the last film, where they coalesce into a face to speak to Neo
- The Many in System Shock 2
- The entity that was once Mycroft Ward in Stephen Hall's "The Raw Shark Texts."
- The Uni-Mind formed by the Eternals from the Marvel Universe
- The Orz in Star Control 2
- The Overlords in Dante D'Anthony's "Tales from the Pandoran Age".
- Palador in Arthur C. Clarke's story "Rescue Party"
- The Partnership Collective in Howard Tayler's Schlock Mercenary
- The Phalanx
- The Phindin from the Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice book series by Dave Wolverton and Jude Watson.
- The Phoners from Stephen King's novel Cell.
- Planet in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
- The Precogs in "The Minority Report", a short story by Philip K. Dick (and its film adaptation).
- The Primes in Peter F. Hamilton's "Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained"
- The Rachni in Mass Effect.
- The Replicators in Stargate SG-1
- The Rat King in The Ballad of Halo Jones and in Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
- The Sand Beasts from Deltora Quest's The Shifting Sands
- The slivers in Magic: The Gathering storyline, they appear first time on Rath but were seen again under the battle of Otaria, and once more during the temporal chaos of Time Spiral.
- Slivers take the hive mind idea a step further, instead of sharing just a consciousness, they also share physical attributes, such as breathing fire, regenerating, growing wings, or an extra claw. They gain these attributes by being in close proximity to another.
- The Shub in Simon R. Green's Deathstalker (series).
- The Swarm in Bruce Sterling's short story of the same name in Schismatrix
- The Swarm in Michael Crichton's novel Prey
- The Tachyons in Godzilla: The Series
- The Taurans and, later, Man in The Forever War
- The Tines in A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. These dog-like creatures form group minds of small numbers of bodies; in larger numbers they are overwhelmed.
- The Tyr in C.S. Friedman's The Madness Season
- The Tyranid race in Warhammer 40,000
- The War Wasps from Metroid Prime culminate in a gigantic hive mind called the Hive Mecha in an attempt to prevent Samus Aran from receiving the Missile Launcher upgrade
- The Xar-Ggothua from Xombie, which not only share thoughts with each other, but each one can be reborn into a new Xar or even a group of three by the Xin-Jithoth. It is assumed this can also be done to their "cousins", the Xi-Thyndri and the Xth Nthogg.
- The Xenomorph race in Alien, Aliens, Alien³, Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator, and Alien vs. Predator 2
- The Zerg race in the StarCraft series
- The X-7 transgenics in the dark angel series
Unnamed hive minds occur in
List of non-hive group minds
A group mind that is not a hive either lets individuals retain some individuality, or can itself split back up into functional individuals at need. The dividing line is blurry; some Star Trek Borg
, such as Seven of Nine
, have been split from the collective.
- The hyper-evolved Arisians of "Doc" Smith's Lensman series can form multi-mind fusions, as can highly-trained Lensmen.
- The Founders (Changelings) in Star Trek are individuals, but form a group mind while connected in the Great Link.
- The Akatsuki leader Pain in the manga Naruto has six bodies that share the same mind.
- The Omar in Deus Ex: Invisible War
- A group of telepathic child prodigies in Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human.
- The Conjoiners in Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space, Chasm City, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, and short stories. They retain their identities, but communicate via implants and act as a group.
- The Edenists in Peter F. Hamilton's 'The Night's Dawn Trilogy' remain individuals, but rely on telepathic empathy for emotional support, personal stability, and colony-wide referendums on major decisions.
- Gaia and Galaxia in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series
- The Little People of Robert A. Heinlein's Methuselah's Children; the individual memories of the original bodies are retained.
- The Martians of A Miracle of Science use brain-to-brain FTL communication; they do not lose their individuality despite being members of the group mind.
- The Strangers in the film Dark City, a group of aliens who experiment on humans in search for their soul. Although each Stranger seems to be an individual, they can combine their psychokinetic powers to work the city-wide Machine, have a hive memory set and have a library of human memories which their doctor can combine to create a new memory. The goal of the Strangers is to obtain human individuality.
- The singularity in the backstory of Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge seems to have involved a group mind created with the aid of brain-level communication and computer networks.
- Humanity is approaching Unity with the existing galactic group mind in Julian May's Galactic Milieu series. 'Operant' humans are also able to form smaller, temporary group minds, called metaconcerts with other operants.
- All of humanity at the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion, after being reduced to LCL.
- All of humanity in the last episode of Serial Experiments Lain, after everyone is subconsciously connected to each other through an advanced, global, wireless version of the internet.
- Evroniani from the Disney comic series PKNA.
- The Franklin Collective from Accelerando by Charles Stross.
- Las Plagas, and, by extension, the Ganados, from Resident Evil 4.
- The Unity in Hosts by F. Paul Wilson; newly infected members can occasionally break free of the group mind and think for themselves, but are eventually overpowered completely.
- The inhabitants of Camazotz, from Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle In Time'
- [to some extent] The Human Beings, according to Nature's Semi-consciousness/on going auto-learning process in Nature is seeing a shrink by Lucas Monaco Toledo
- The underground (Also referred to as "The Joined") in The Light of Other Days uses Brain-computer interfaces and wormhole communication.
- The leader of resistance, Kuze, in TV Series Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG communicates with war refugees through their cybernetic implants. By constantly transmitting all his thoughts and feelings to the refugees through "the Network", Kuze becomes their friend, comrade and leader in their fight to establish a new state. The only difference from a mastermind is that he lets everyone decide, whether to follow his lead or not.
- The Transcendence in Transcendent by Stephen Baxter
- The Keymasters in Spectrum by Sergey Lukyanenko
- The Fleetmind, or Petey, in Schlock Mercenary
- The Strogg from Quake 2 and Quake 4.
- The Protoss in the StarCraft series share a loose collective consciousness through a mental practice called the Khala. However, they still maintain their individuality.
- The Virindi, a race/species in the PC game Asheron's Call, are floating, invisible entities that wear physical hooded shrouds (mostly tattered shrouds, but some forms of Virindi wear what looks like armor), white masks (think Vega from Street Fighter II) that have glowing purple eye holes (some have red pupils) and sometimes have twisted smiles on masks. They fight using magic crop syckles. They are of a singular mind which calls itself "The Singularity". The Virindi speak only in the plural (ie: us, we, our, etc...) when talking about themselves. Some "individuals" have broken free of The Singularity, and are of their own individual consciousness.
- The Zilart in Final Fantasy XI, an ancient race connected by a kind of mental link they call the Whisper of Souls. Some are born without this link and are fearfully enslaved and forced to wear an amulet that artificially connects them to the Whisper.
- The Vortigaunts in the Half-Life series share a telepathic communal link.
- The Stepford Cuckoos from the X-Men comics share a group mind that can split up into its parts.
- The Agents from the The Matrix series.
- The Asurans from Stargate Atlantis: Although their leadership can use the collective to reprogram deviant thoughts, they possess individual personalities beyond this, and can use it to transfer their consciousness to new bodies after their old ones are destroyed.
- The Babies from A Cage of Butterflies.
- The replica soldiers from F.E.A.R. universe are controlled by Telepathic commander.
- The Hypotheticals in Robert Charles Wilson's novel Spin, a highly advanced, billions years old, galaxy spanning benevolent collective of Von Neumann machines.
- The Taelons of the TV series Earth: Final Conflict are connected to each other through the Commonality.
- The residents of the town of Santaroga in Frank Herbert's The Santaroga Barrier.