Chronology and targeted audience

I'm searching for a science fiction anthology aimed at the children's or YA market. It can't have been released any later than around 2002, since that's when I read it in my local (UK) library; but it may well be older.

Plot info

>Story #1

The story I remember most vividly is about a girl who is either born on the moon or in space (I can't remember which), who is the first human to be born off-planet. It turns out that she has special abilities: specifically, there is a scene near the end where she addresses the UN or some other conference of world leaders, and they all applaud her. After, it turns out that no one was wearing a translator; the delegates are all convinced that she spoke their particular language, with perfect fluency. Her father is also somehow involved in the story I think.

>Story #2

Another story is about an Earth which has been invaded by aliens. Everyone is possibly dead except for one man who lives in the sewers, occasionally venturing out to steal food from the supermarkets, at great risk because alien patrols are everywhere. He has recurring nightmares about being chased through the sewers by the aliens, who have finally figured out where he lives; this may also involve his legs becoming paralysed at a crucial moment. At the end, this nightmare becomes a reality.

>Story #3

I believe there is also a story involving a kid picking up a mysterious phone call, and aliens are involved, but I'm much less sure of this one.

>Story #4

I think there was also a story involving some kind of spider creature or other weird alien, who lives in a kid's room and can communicate with him. Again, I'm less certain of this one.

Graphical Information

I can't remember what the cover looked like, but I believe the interior had at least a few black and white illustrations.

There may also have been a black and white illustration of spider creature from story #4 inside the kid's room.

  • There was a previous question about story #1, namely scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/96405/… but it has been "removed for reasons of moderation" whatever that means.
    – user14111
    Feb 24, 2017 at 13:43
  • 1
    The old question titled "Short story about a girl who was the first child born in space, or on the moon?" said: "I remember reading this short story in a science fiction anthology when I was a child. In the climactic scene of the story, the girl (now grown up) gives an address to the UN. Afterwards, all the delegates insist that they heard her speak in their particular language. "I would have read this in the early 2000s, say between 2000-2003. It wasn't a brand new collection though so I would guess it was from the 1990s." Was that you or someone else?
    – user14111
    Feb 24, 2017 at 13:49
  • user14111 - yes, that was my post from about a year and a half ago. I'm not sure why it was removed but I never got an answer and I'm still wondering. Plus I remembered some more details of other stories in the anthology.
    – Palomar
    Feb 24, 2017 at 14:34
  • @user14111, I was thinking this had come up before. Thanks for solving the mystery of why I couldn't find the post.
    – Otis
    Feb 24, 2017 at 17:40
  • For more information on story #2, see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/231215/…
    – Otis
    May 17, 2020 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


After much searching I have managed to answer my own question!

The anthology is The Young Oxford Book of Aliens, published in 2000.

Story #1, about the girl born in space who possesses uncanny abilities, is "Space-Born" by Robert Bloch.

Story #2, about a man living in the sewers after an alien invasion, is "The Underdweller" by William F. Nolan.

I haven't yet ascertained the identities of stories #3 and #4, but I had a far more tenuous memory of those and I may have confused them with stories from different collections.


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