I read this when at school in the 70's. I think it was in Omni or possibly a similar mag.

Definitely a magazine, definitely a short story.

The couple change sex frequently via a pill, but at some point things go wrong, and they discover another range of sexes, with wildly different sexual characteristics.

I have been looking for this for YEARS and would really appreciate any help.

  • 1
    I know a Gaiman story that walks similar ground, but that's way more recent than the 70s. Sorry.
    – Radhil
    Nov 29, 2016 at 15:38
  • 1
    For the sake of completness, the very similar Neil Gaiman story is "Changes" in his collection Smoke and Mirrors Nov 29, 2016 at 16:05
  • What sort of wildly different sexual characteristics do you remember?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 6, 2017 at 13:13
  • Sounds like it could be a Varley, he wrote a few stories where the changing of ones' sex was a pretty everyday thing.
    – n_b
    Jan 6, 2018 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


I believe the story is called The Second Generation by Rachel Pollack. There is a scan at the Internet Archive.

  • 3
    Can you explain why you think this is the right answer? A link-only answer only works while the links are alive.
    – Valorum
    Jan 6, 2018 at 10:03
  • 1
    that sounds about right, still looking for the omni anthology that had this in it to confirm
    – mendota
    Nov 14, 2020 at 4:04

I had a similar memory of a similar story, but I think it was what @Binary-Worrier mentioned: "Changes", by Neil Gaiman.

The synopsis from GoodReads sounds about right:

A scientist named Rajit, devises a cure for cancer.

And the story was basically people are taking pills to cure cancer, but it also resets their chromosomes to either an XX or XY expression. And once the treatment becomes commonplace, people start taking the pills to change their sex at will.

The scene that stuck out in my mind was the very end. I think the doctor was too old to take the treatment, or otherwise refused it, and he's on a beach seeing everyone just simply enjoying their humanity for what it is, no matter their underlying sex or gender.

  • 1
    OP mentioned having read the story in the 70s. According to the link you included in your answer, it looks like "Changes" was published in 1998, so this probably isn't it.
    – Joe White
    Nov 14, 2020 at 7:19

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