Plot Details/Summary

My memory on this one is very, very fuzzy, but here is the story as best as I can recall.

A very young boy is living in a room or small dwelling that is actually a test lab of sorts. The boy is under observation by - I think - some sort of alien race. It may be that the aliens were trying to learn more about humans, but I can't recall for certain. I do recall for certain that the experiment is ongoing, and covers several years of the boy's life.

The story is told in the 3rd person from a narrator's perspective. I don't recall any dialogue from the boy himself. I can remember two details, both of which, for lack of a better term, might be a little bit on the "icky" side.

The first detail involves the boy "exploring his urges" as he enters puberty. Nothing explicit, but there is a line about the boy feeling ashamed afterwards.

The second detail takes place not too long after the first (I believe he's a bit older, though) and a teenage human girl is introduced to the environment. I don't know there was ever any dialogue between them, but they do become lovers. Again, the descriptions weren't sexually explicit, though there were sensory descriptions that seemed to highlight the boy's inexperience with human interaction and a certain wonder what was taking place.

I don't remember how the story ends or if there was a greater purpose to the experiment. As I mentioned before, my memory of this one is quite vague.

Publication Details

I read this one in a sci-fi magazine. The subject matter makes me think Omni, but I seem to recall it being something more along the lines of Analog or the like. I read it in the 1980s, but the story could be older than that. I would guess no earlier than late 60's-early 70's.


On the off chance you have the genders reversed, and it was a book, Alien Child, by Pamela Sargent, follows a young human girl being raised by aliens, and introduced to a male human near the end.

Cover of *Alien Child*

From a Goodreads review:

Originally published in 1988, Alien Child is a young adult book that follows a human girl named Nita who is being raised by a catlike creature, Llipel, in the remains of a medical institute. Llipel’s companion, Llare, stays holed away from them in another part of the institute that she’s not allowed to access. Nita begins to believe that she’s the last surviving human on Earth as she learns more about what happened to the rest of humanity and how she, a human girl, came to exist in a world where humans no longer roam. Then, she discovers that Llare is actually raising a human boy of the same age named Sven.

  • 1
    Oh dang it... this is from 1988, which is also too late, but I'll keep it up as a partial answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 9 '19 at 16:24

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