Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Overmind  
  A consciousness that supersedes the minds of many individuals.  

I wouldn't be surprised if this term derived from Theosophical or other mystical literature of the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. However, as far as I know, this is the earliest use of this term in science fiction.

Captain Rowan laughed. “No? Then tell me: What if the hand of a person begins suddenly to write words at a rate ten to twenty times faster than normal, in a handwriting other than his own, upon wise and lofty subjects not heard of before; sometimes even in a language of which the owner of the hand is ignorant — tell me, what guides that hand?”

“There is usually fraud back of this automatic writing, deceit of some sort,” replied Parsons. “In the few eases where it seems to be genuine, it is due, doubtless, to the subconscious mind of man.”

“But if the person doing the automatic writing has no knowledge, either conscious or subconscious, of Latin or Greek, or even of Sanskrit (for I assure you whole reams have been written in Sanskrit), and the writing should be in any one of those languages—what then ?"

Parsons shrugged his shoulders. “Still there is no valid reason for assuming an overmind or director as does Larkin.” He turned to me. “Undoubtedly there are some mysterious things in connection with psychic phenomena which are baffling, but to use those mysterious things as a base from which to launch into wild and irrational speculations is not scientific.

Technovelgy from The Chemical Brain, by Francis Flagg.
Published by Weird Tales in 1929
Additional resources -

Another early use of this expression can be found in James Schmitz' 1949 novel Agent of Vega:

The Departmental Lab’s theory was that under the stress of a psychic attack which was about to overwhelm the individual telepath, a kind of racial Overmind took over automatically and conducted its member-mind’s escape from the emergency...

Many science fiction readers would associate this term with Arthur C. Clarke's 1952 novel Childhood's End, which went so far as to capitalize and deify it:

There lay the Overmind, whatever it might be, bearing the same relation to man as man bore to the amoeba. Potentially infinite, beyond mortality...

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Chemical Brain
  More Ideas and Technology by Francis Flagg
  Tech news articles related to The Chemical Brain
  Tech news articles related to works by Francis Flagg

Articles related to Culture
SensorWake Scent-Based Alarm Clock
Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
Navajo Say Human Cremains On The Moon Is 'Desecration'

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
'The car had no steering wheel, and no one drove!'

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'
'It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct...'

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.'

Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

Europa Clipper Plate Carries A Special Message
'...a universal cryptogram — yet it is one which can be interpreted by any intelligent creature on any planet in the Solar System!'

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
'With a whir, the Scarab shot from the concealing shadows of the corner where it had hidden itself.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.