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In the 1980s or early 1990s I read a gamebook (probably from the Choose Your Own Adventure series, but possibly a different one) in which the protagonist travels forward in time. In the Earth of the distant future, humans have lost all their head and body hair, as well as two of their five fingers. To blend in, the protagonist shaves their head and glues two fingers on each hand to their palms. However, their cover gets blown and they must flee from the authorities.

Can anyone identify the title, author, and series of this story?

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    This sounds like the Simpsons.
    – Valorum
    Jun 11, 2017 at 11:05
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    Wait. Why does the protagonist have to glue fingers to their hand? Surely that means that they come from the future, not travel to it...
    – Valorum
    Jun 11, 2017 at 12:51
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    The protagonist is from present-day Earth and so has five fingers. They travel into the distant future, where evolutionary pressures have led to humans losing two of their fingers. The protagonist thus conceals two of their fingers so as to appear similar to their new contemporaries.
    – Psychonaut
    Jun 11, 2017 at 13:01
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    @Valorum: I suppose he glues his own fingers to the palm in such a way that he doesn't accidentally show them. Still, it makes me wonder whether on future humans, just two fingers are missing while the shape and size of the hand remain the same - and whether that future is dominated by chord keyboards. Jun 11, 2017 at 13:17
  • Ah, I see. He glues his own fingers to his palm to remove two of them from casual view
    – Valorum
    Jun 11, 2017 at 13:24

1 Answer 1

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I'm not sure about this one. But I think it may be something from the Be an Interplanetary Spy series. And I think it's most likely to be Book 7 ("Rebel Spy").

It's a series of gamebooks, which has various encounters with three-fingered aliens (including at least one recurring villain). Note in particular the Choons from Book 7:

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(Observe the mask your character is using, to appear to have the same sort of completely bald head they do - unfortunately you've been unmasked. And look at the way your character is holding that cell door bar - with only two fingers and a thumb - as though the other two fingers were glued to the plam of their hand.)

And as for the gamebook elements, and that recurring villain (he's a different kind of three-fingered alien):

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And here's yet another kind of three-fingered alien in book 6:

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The series also has its own TV Tropes page here.

And a geocities.ws page devoted to it here

That said, I think the protagonist is from the future. Not from present-day Earth. So that doesn't quite match. And there's the fact that the Choons appear to be completely alien, not heavily mutated/evolved future humans.

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    Interesting find, but I'm afraid this isn't the book I was thinking of. I remember the illustrations being distinctly different in style. Also, I don't recall there being any aliens in my story. There was only the time-travelling protagonist, who was a 20th-century human, and the bald, three-fingered humans of the distant future.
    – Psychonaut
    Mar 23, 2022 at 20:23

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