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I've been trying to find a story I've read about 20 years ago, without success. It is about a group of human astronauts landing on an alien planet, where they help the local life advance technologically and socially, but eventually they break into factions led by the different humans, who go to war against each other. It was humorous and I feel like I've read it in my "classical sci-fi writers" phase, so nothing too modern, let's say up to the 80s. Almost certainly American.

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  • Humorous warlike aliens? Sort of like the Hoka stories but different?
    – user14111
    Aug 26 at 21:11
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    Possible questions to help narrow it down: Were the aliens humanoid or radically non-human? Were there many types of aliens? Were the humans already factionalized? Do you remember anything about the cover art? Was there a main protagonist, or an ensemble, and what were those characters like?
    – Adam Burke
    Aug 27 at 4:27
  • It might be Jem by Frederik Pohl, but without further detail it could be dozens of other books too.
    – Adam Burke
    Aug 30 at 2:55
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    It was humorous but not an outright parody. The aliens were not humanoid, if I remember well, at all, were all of the same species (and same society, I believe). The humans arrived as a single crew of a human spacecraft. Not sure if they were friendly, but they definitely grew apart. I don't have any memory of the cover art, but I think it was a classic sci-fi paperback - bad paper, pocket format, colourful cover. I don't think any of the humans was treated as a main character and they were not very detailed.
    – vsvec
    Aug 30 at 11:53
  • It was far less serious than Jem sounds, but that's definitely going on my reading list, thanks :)
    – vsvec
    Aug 30 at 11:54

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