I had a short story collection in the early 1980s which contained a story called 'Them' by Rob Heinlein. I have since found that story elsewhere but there were other stories. One about a man who insults an elf (I think) and he gets punished by not being able to touch water. There was also another one about a man who was sent to a parallel dimension ruled by Yero and everyone is immortal but could also be badly wounded, it was a kind of hell

Any ideas as I would love to read those again

  • Do you mean "They"? There is no Heinlein story named "Them". Apr 29, 2017 at 20:12
  • 1
    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit any more details. Specifically things like when you read it, or where? Also, take a look at our tour to get a better understanding of our site and earn your first badge!
    – Edlothiad
    Apr 29, 2017 at 20:14
  • ISFDB lists most of the appearances of that story here and here Apr 29, 2017 at 20:14
  • There is a Galaxy Issue that was the "Christmas" issue that had Santa and Elves and "Distinguished Gentlemen at a well appointed abode" on the cover, the Gentlemen were the more or less Leading SCI-FI Authors of the day. A story by Heinlein was in it and there may be been a story involving an Elf. If so then it would have been later than 1948 and Earlier than 1968 (Of course actual publish dates trump my memory) IF any of that helps Apr 29, 2017 at 20:28
  • Sorry it was They, my mistake.
    – Jon
    Apr 30, 2017 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


Assuming you mean Heinlein's story "They", a possibility is "The Dark Side". I think one of your other stories (the one about a man who is cursed to have water stay away from him) is "Trouble with Water" by H. L. Gold. Both stories appear in this collection.

Edit: - - - - - -

Many thanks to user14111 who volunteered the info that "Yero" appears in the story "Mistake Inside" by James Blish, which also is in "The Dark Side" collection.

This would appear to make it fairly conclusive that the answer is "The Dark Side" (published 1965, reprinted through 1969).

End Edit: - - - -

The two potentially identified stories also appeared together in these collections:

Les meilleurs récits de Unknown

Unknown Worlds: Tales from Beyond

  • Both stories also appeared in Unknown Worlds: Tales From Beyond but that's too late for the early 80s.
    – user14111
    Apr 29, 2017 at 20:31
  • Thanks, was just typing that in. I missed the date though. Apr 29, 2017 at 20:32
  • Yero is in "Mistake Inside" by James Blish, which is in the Dark Side anthology. You can read it here at archive.org.
    – user14111
    Apr 29, 2017 at 20:38
  • Brilliant answers, thanks everyone. Now to find a copy of those stories
    – Jon
    Apr 30, 2017 at 11:09
  • 1
    Just found a copy on Amazon, will be great to read this again after 35 years of searching
    – Jon
    Apr 30, 2017 at 11:42

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.