This was a 1970s short story, which has something in common with Damon Knight's classic "Four in One".

Random individuals on Earth start to dissolve into pools of protoplasm. This naturally gives the impression that some hostile alien has eaten them, leading to violent reactions. However if the blobs were given food and shelter for a few weeks, they re-formed into next-generation humans.

I recall that in one case, somebody tried putting the protoplasm of his nearest and dearest into a sort of human-shaped jelly mould, but it wasn't necessary.

1 Answer 1


Sounds like Speaking of Dinosaurs by Philip E High. Not a short story, but a shortish novel

Two humans, David Standing and Violet Barraday slowly start turning into pools of protoplasm before reforming into human shape, but 'better' than they were before.

The reason for the change is due to an alien race kidnapping a group of 'Yewmans' in the distant past and genetically altering them, a process called 'imprinting' - the change they undergo is them actually reverting to the original form. The aliens were attempting to create biological weapons, and were also responsible for the development of the dinosaurs ( hence the title ).

Once the two primaries revert to the 'Dominant Strain' then the rest of the Earth's population becomes divided into 'Prints' and 'Strains' and battle ensues until the 'Strains' lodge an appeal with the galactic 'police force'

Standing transformed in the cellar of an island cottage, while Barraday was in the care of a private hospital, which provided the 'jelly mould' bed described in the original post

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