Can anyone remember a short story about an author, writing in a cabin, falls foul of some yobs who destroy his work. The author is then helped to recall and rewrite the whole huge manuscript in one night by The People. These are apparenly human but are, in fact, aliens. They try to keep a low profile for fear of people turning on them. I think there were a series of stories about them.


2 Answers 2


The story is No Different Flesh by Zenna Henderson.

A couple, having recently lost a child at birth are staying in a cabin in an isolated area. The husband is working on a book (some sort of textbook).

They discover a baby during a storm. The baby has the power of levitation. At some point a gang of yobs break into the cabin and destroy the manuscript. The baby turns out to be a member of an alien race ("The People") who arrive to collect the baby. As a token of gratitute, they help to reproduce the manuscript with their "wordscriber", a machine that transcribes thoughts into writing.

There are a series of these stories about The People, collected in a volume called Ingathering

  • Curses! Outdone
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 14:30
  • @MacCooper Well, I had the advantage of having read this one quite recently.
    – Fruitbat
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 14:33
  • and I do have the disadvantage of never reading any of them -- I think I should get bonus points for that ;) I got accepted answer months back on a Tolkien question, having never read the books either xD
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 14:40

I am not familiar enough with the individual stories to know which one it is, but it sounds like one of Zenna Henderson's stories about The People -- aliens who have lost their planet and are now on Earth and are, like you say, keeping a low profile.

The first of these stories is called Ararat. Goodreads has a blurb that says

These are the People. Marooned on this planet by the crash of their interstellar vehicle in the distant past, The People are never free of a sense of strangeness in this world and a yearning for the home they have half-forgotten. These are the chronicles of their arrival on this world, their estrangement from it, and their ultimate acceptance of their poignant exile.

I can't find anything about rewriting a manuscript, but there are quite a few stories (as you say, a series) and the other points do match. Is this what you're looking for?

  • Many thanks, Fruitbat. (Sorry, Mac Cooper!) as soon as I saw your answer, I thought, Of course! How could I have forgotten? Right, it's over to amazon now..... Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 10:50
  • @LesleyGooda, I'm glad you got it! Don't forget to accept Fruitbat's answer :)
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 10:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.