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Possibly post-apocalyptic, in any case the characters wake up from what may be suspended animation into a common area. I think they may be fed some kind of artificially constituted food and one of the pairs involves a "childlike" non-sexed woman and a handsome guy. I read this in the past decade, but unfortunately further details are not in mind.

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    Is that "non-sexed" as in "never had sex"? As in "has no evident gender?" – FuzzyBoots May 11 '18 at 11:27
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    Sorry, "childlike" is the only specific phrase I remember, but she was described as not particularly curvy, boyish-looking (though that phrase was not used), low sexual dimorphism in that sense. – a.gstevens May 11 '18 at 16:35
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It is possible that you are describing the story "Think Blue, Count Two" by Cordwainer Smith. A ship-load of especially good-looking people are sent to the colony Wereld Schemering to improve their gene pool. The passengers are asleep for the long sub-light voyage, but several of them are woken up partway through the story to deal with some technical difficulties.

The protagonist is Veesey-koosey, a teen-aged girl who, unlike most of the sleeping people, is not trained with any skills.

She had a Daughter Potential of 999.999, meaning that any normal adult of either sex could and would accept her as a daughter after a few minutes of relationship. She had no skill in herself, no learning, no trained capacities. But she could re-motivate almost anyone older than herself, and she showed a probability of making that re-motivated person put up a gigantic fight for life. For her sake. And secondarily the adopter's.

She becomes sweethearts with one of the other woken passengers, although he later regrets it when he realizes how much Veesey is still a child.

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  • Interesting and certainly along the lines of what I am thinking of, but the book I read was more recent and a complete novel, I believe. Perhaps the scene I am describing is only the first part of the story. Somehow these people were extracted from their daily lives and put on an alien structure. Sorry, I wish I could remember more. – a.gstevens May 11 '18 at 16:38
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I found what I was looking for buy searching for 'science fiction books where aliens save humans' on Google. The result I looked at 8 Books About First Contacts and Alien Encounters

had "Lilith's Brood" by Octavia E. Butler as the first in the list. The name of the aliens mentioned in the summary, the Oankali, helped jog my memory.

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