Healer by F. Paul Wilson
Steven Dalt should have died in that cave on the planet Kwashi. After all, as the natives say, of a thousand people attacked by the cave-dwelling alaret, one will not die. But Dalt is that one. He survives, but not without personal cost: he has picked up a passenger: an alien intelligence transferred itself from the alaret to take up residence in his brain. Steven Dalt will never be alone again.
But Pard, as Dalt names the alien who shares his life, doesn’t believe in freeloading. He pays his rent by using cellular-level consciousness to maintain Dalt’s body in perfect health—no disease, no aging. And now Dalt appreciates the full meaning of the Kwashi natives’ saying: Of a thousand struck down by an alaret, one will not die . . . ever.
Spanning twelve hundred years, HEALER follows Dalt and Pard through the centuries as they become known as The Healer, an enigmatic figure with the power to cure diseases of the mind. And when a wave of interstellar slaughter threatens the civilizations of the LaNague Federation, only The Healer has the resources to face the onrushing doom.
(Bonus LaNague short story: “To Fill the Sea and Air” – plus a foreword by the author)
“HEALER is a well-plotted, well-paced, well-told novel. Solid, well-written, and strong, it is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve picked up in some time. HEALER should be of particular interest to the Heinleinian reader.” (Future Retrospective)
“Highly enjoyable and meaningful. Healer brings us a refreshing new concept. This book is for people looking for new ideas and new points of view.” (SF Booklog)
“A fascinating yarn.” (Hartford Courant)
“The themes of symbiotic partnership and the problems of lone immortals in a world of mortals are not new to SF, but Wilson weaves the two together and comes up with a work that… is both unique and quite enjoyable. I was sad to come to the end of HEALER.” (The SF&F Journal)
“A fine entertainment.” (SF Monthly Review)
“An impressive first novel.” (Evening Post, Bristol – UK)
“I recommend HEALER . . . an audacious example of the genre.” (Books of the Month)
Bonuses: a new preface by the author and a related LaNague Federation short story, “To Fill the Sea and Air”