Looking for the Title of a science fiction book about people who were small in stature and live underground in tunnels. They fear and fight rats and live off eating worms It has been a while and I may be forgetting things. Can anyone help?

  • Share with us anything you can. For example when was it written? When did you read it?
    – CHEESE
    Apr 5, 2016 at 1:06
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    In addition to CHEESE's questions, here are some more tips for improving the chances of finding your story.
    – Paul
    Apr 5, 2016 at 1:09
  • It sounds like "The Borrowers" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Borrowers), but I seem to have a dim recollection of another tale. Maybe it will surface at some point and I can enter a real Answer. Apr 5, 2016 at 3:58
  • I thought of "The Borrowers" too but I don't think they ate worms.
    – Dave M
    Apr 6, 2016 at 10:58

2 Answers 2


Might be The Hero of Downways by Michael G Coney. It certainly features people who have been genetically engineered to be very small, and live in tunnels. The Hero of the title became a hero by killing a rat (called the Daggertooth). I can't find any reference to them eating worms without actually reading the book.


Not sure if you're still looking for it, but it sounds like you're talking about The Borribles by Michael de Larrabeiti.

What is a Borrible? Borribles are runaways who dwell in the shadows of London. Apart from their pointed ears, they look just like ordinary children. They live by their wits and a few Borrible laws-the chief one being, Don't Get Caught! The Borribles are outcasts-but they wouldn't have it any other way....

One night, the Borribles of Battersea discover a Rumble-one of the giant, rat-shaped creatures who are their ancient enemy-in their territory. Fearing an invasion, an elite group of Borrible fighters set out on what will become known in legend as The Great Rumble Hunt. So begins the first of the three epic adventures in Michael de Larrabeiti's classic trilogy, where excitement, violence, low cunning, greed, generosity, treachery, and bravery exist side by side.

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    Welcome to the site! Please could you add some information about this story, like a link or a synopsis or anything so that people reading your post can judge how closely it fits what the OP describes? See also how to write a good story-ID answer.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 1, 2021 at 11:14

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