What is the name of the early to mid-1950's sci-fi short story in which an asteroid miner and his wife decide to have their pretty, intelligent daughter dumbed down and made less attractive?

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    – DavidW
    Apr 12, 2019 at 2:22
  • I was thinking of Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, which has the dumbing down and making less attractive (and less physically fit) in common, but the main character is a boy (though there is a girl who is given the same treatment), and it takes place on Earth, so probably not it? Apr 12, 2019 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


It's not an exact match - the parents aren't miners, they're farmers, and the setting is a planet at Deneb, not an asteroid - but I'm still going to suggest this is No Charge for Alterations by H.L. Gold.

The time frame matches (first published in 1953, anthologized 1955), as does the plot. (The daughter is not a good fit for a farming planet, so is "altered" to be happier and productive.)

You can read the entire story online at Project Gutenberg.

Also the (unaccepted) answer to this question

  • 1
    It's weird how in both questions, the OP thinks things happen with miners on an asteroid instead of farmers on a planet.
    – Jemox
    Apr 12, 2019 at 12:38
  • 1
    @Echox Yeah, I meant to come back and put a comment to that effect. I'm still considering that there may be another story out there, but so far I can't find it.
    – DavidW
    Apr 12, 2019 at 14:09

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