I am trying to locate a Science Fiction book that I read circa 1978.
It was a paperback an probably was a couple of years old at that time.
The plot revolved around the settlement of a planet with a "life force
that lived off of strong emotion" This life force fostered a violent
& conflict ridden human society divided between martial arts
practioners who controlled their violent impulses and "ronin" bandits
who did not.
I thought that the author was a Smith or Schmit but I may be wrong in that memory…
Request for Question Clarification bypinkfreud-ga
I believe your book is "The Eternal Frontiers," by James H. Schmitz.
Here are a couple of summaries of the plot:
"Earth's colonists have spread throughout the cosmos, and have almost
divided into two separate species. One is the Swimmers, who have
adapted to living in zero-gravity, and regard themselves as the next
step in evolution, and those who prefer to live on the surface of a
planet as little better than apes. The latter group, the Walkers, are
not about to say farewell to the planets they grew up on, and think
the Swimmers are not so much advanced as deranged.
Crowell, born a Swimmer but now a Walker by choice, is caught in the
middle as the two sides seem headed for war. Then he discovers the
true cause of the altercation: a hidden alien race moving behind the
scenes to provoke a war so that they can pick up the pieces after the
two sides have obliterated each other. And if Crowell cannot head off
the war and convince both sides of the existence of the real enemy,
both branches of the human race may be headed for untimely
"On an alien planet, two great human cultures — the distant
descendants of earth, now almost two separate species — are in a
struggle for control. The Swimmers, beautiful, graceful, artistic and
clever, live in free fall in great starships and in artificially
maintained antigravity zones on planet surfaces. The Walkers, who live
chiefly on planets, are aggressive and tough, energetic and
Crowell, born a Swimmer but a Walker by choice, commands the Cencom
military mission on a wild, untamed planet. Another Walker faction,
the Galestrals, are in uneasy alliance with Cencom, maintaining a
precarious balance of power against the Swimmer culture. Suddenly, a
destructive force of unprecedented power mysteriously begins to
threaten the whole planet. Its source is unknown — but the decadent
sinister Swimmer Bethany clearly knows more than she will say.
The threads of this complex and precarious predicament are ripped
apart when Crowell, his beautiful fighting companion and their
spirited Galestral allies discover the awesome secret of the alien
What do you think? If this is your book, I'll be glad to post it as
your official answer. If not, a few more details would be very
Clarification of Question byakakevin-ga
Thank you for your help but, the book you describe by James Schmitz is
not the book that I am seeking.
The entire plot of the book that I seek, is set on the surface of a
planet. The conflict within the story is between one group of
colonists decended from martial artists who control their negative and
violent emotions and the other group called ronin who are totally
without self control.
There is limited technology in the story as it was mostly destroyed
when the human colonists first landed upon this planet and were
exposed to this alien force that feeds upon violent emotions.
Thanks again for your effort. But your suggested answer is not the one that I seek.