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Can You Name This Story? (Part 3)

Another reader writes in with a story description looking for a title. Do any of our readers out there know the title of this story?

When I was a kid in the 1970s, I read what was probably a short story (probably in an anthology for young readers) about a bunch of children who lived in a controlled environment with a minder looking after them from a voice in the wall. In fact that’s what they called this person, “Voice.” All the children have names like Emelen and Emanee (those are the two I can remember). One very bright child figures out that “Voice” is actually more than one person, as the personality changes over time, and this child eventually organises an escape, in which all the children discover a huge world outside their home and that they have been kept prisoners. They also learn that they are all mutations of some sort, with extra limbs or misshapen facial features, and that that was why they were separated from the rest of humanity. Their names turn out to be 3-letter codes, MLN and MNE, in the examples above, and the M stands for “monster.”

I remember this story hitting me very hard as a youngster and I’d like to reread it if anyone remembers it.

– Maria S.

Can you name this story?

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

12 Comments on Can You Name This Story? (Part 3)

  1. It’s in a Roger Elwood anthology from the 1970s. Hold on a bit, I’ll go look it up.

  2. I believe it’s _Ten Tomorrows_, 1973, but I can’t locate a table of contents.

  3. TOC from here…and here’s the cover.

    Ten Tomorrows ed. Roger Elwood

    (Fawcett Gold Medal, Sep ’73, pb)

    * · Ms. Found in an Abandoned Time Machine · Robert Silverberg · ss *

    * · Yahrzeit · Barry N. Malzberg · ss *

    * · A Few Minutes · Laurence M. Janifer · ss *

    * · The Freshman Angle · Edgar Pangborn · nv *

    * · The Rescued Girls of Refugee · Anne McCaffrey · ss *

    * · Matthew · Pamela Sargent · ss *

    * · The Defenseless Dead [Gil Hamilton] · Larry Niven · nv *

    * · An Infinity of Loving · David Gerrold · ss *

    * · A True Bill · James Blish · nv *

    * · In a Crooked Year · Gardner R. Dozois · nv *

  4. It’s not _Ten Tomorrows_. It may be _The Other Side of Tomorrow_: here’s the table of contents:

    The Other Side of Tomorrow ed. Roger Elwood (Random House 0-394-82468-1, Nov ’73, 207pp, hc)

    * vii · Introduction · Roger Elwood · in

    * 3 · Come Sing the Moons of Moravenn · Leigh Brackett · nv *

    * 26 · Examination Day · Gordon Eklund · nv *

    * 50 · The Speeders · Arthur Tofte · ss *

    * 70 · Let My People Go! · Joseph Green · ss *

    * 89 · Night of the Millennium · Edward D. Hoch · ss *

    * 106 · A Bowl of Biskies Makes a Growing Boy · Raymond F. Jones · nv *

    * 134 · Final Exam · Thomas N. Scortia · ss *

    * 153 · The Others · J. Hunter Holly · nv *

    * 182 · Peace, Love, and Food for the Hungry · Gail Kimberly · nv *

  5. Maria Stahl // February 26, 2008 at 11:11 am //

    You people are GOOOOOD! Of course this means I have to get hold of both books… just to be absolutely certain. Heh.

    Thank you for all the responses!


  6. Not sure if this helps narrow down the options, specifically to “Let My People Go!” by Joseph Green:

    Both Joseph Green’s “Let My People Go!” and J. Hunter Holly’s “The Others” deal with the plight of throwbacks and mutations in worlds where genetic enhancement is the norm. Holly’s story is the better of the two, and features real moments of pathos (whereas the first person narrator in Green’s story is too clinically detached to be taken seriously as a believable character), but both tales end with a sense of hope for the outcasts’ future.

  7. Maria Stahl // February 26, 2008 at 11:38 am //

    Thanks, John. I just nabbed a HC copy of “The Other Side of Tomorrow” off eBay and will keep looking for “Ten Tomorrows.” (Lots of paperbacks out there but I try to buy mostly hardcovers.) I’m thinking the Holly story will turn out to be The One. If not, still fun reading.

  8. Maria Stahl // February 26, 2008 at 11:43 am //

    Doesn’t appear that “Ten Tomorrows” was ever published in hardcover. That makes the search simpler, at least.

  9. You’re not the first to look for this story.

    The consensus seems to be ‘Let my people go’.

  10. I like the “can you name this story?” posts, they remind me of reading rec.arts.sf on Usenet years ago. I haven’t read the story described here but it sounds interesting so I might join in the hunt. Keep it up! 🙂

  11. Thanks you all–I had an experience similar to Maria’s, and I searched for the title a few years ago, coming up empty-handed.  I was beginning to think I was nuts!  I will go out and get these books so I can read them to my kids!

  12. Definately ‘The Others’ by J. Hunter Holly featured in the ‘The Other side of Tomorrow’ – I have the book as I’m a JHH collector and just double checked. Incidently J Hunter Holly was a lady, actually Joan Carol Holly who wrote under both names. Hope that helps…

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