I’m going crazy trying to remember this science fiction story about a guy who is kinda like Typhoid Mary. He has been exposed to hundreds of deadly pests but didn’t die himself. He just gets more scarred with pock marks, hardened and immune. But — he can infect everybody else. So he wanders around doing that.

The short story or novella may have been in an anthology in early or mid '70s.


1 Answer 1


This sounds quite a bit like Roger Zelazny's 1973 novel To Die in Italbar, previously identified (although not accepted) here.

The plot summary, per Wikipedia:

Heidel von Hymack, known to all as "H", is a man with the power to cure people of incurable diseases. He travels from world to world healing people by touching them. However his healing powers have a dark side: after a while they reverse and he becomes a spreader of deadly diseases. Avoiding contact with others is almost impossible because of his celebrity, so his most dedicated followers tend to die horribly. He does not know why he has this power, though he dreams of a mysterious "Lady" who rules his life. In fact he has been accidentally joined to a deity of the Pei'an religion, a goddess of disease and healing whose changing moods determine whether he saves or kills.

  • Yes, that's it! Thank you very much! Apr 3, 2020 at 14:40

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