Once upon a time, a man called Frank Gladwebb lived in England. He carried a weird chromosome that manifested in some of his progeny of both sexes. When it did, the individual became essentially Frank in a different body - Frank 2, Frank 3, etc! Over the centuries, it spread across the world - so humanity became a single hive entity.
OK - not one but two hive entities; a mutation happened early during the spread. No prizes for guessing the people included in the two hives - Americans vs everybody else.
- Story is narrated by a Venusian, whose presence in the story is completely unnecessary.
- Story references history of English royalty at many places; so should hopefully be more interesting read to English readers, assuming they know more of their country's history than I do of mine.
- Going by references at a couple of places to war, I guess the motivation might be to present a method of avoiding war - something shared by many stories. A hive cannot fight itself. Two hives in the story also don't seem to be fight each other; may be hive is supposed to make the entity wiser.
Fact sheet.First published: Science-Fantasy, #23 (June 1957).
Download full text from Internet Archive.
Included in Ellen Datlow's SciFiction's Classics.
Related: Stories of Brian Aldiss.