I'm looking for the name of a novella I read in an anthology, I believe it was a collection of Nebula Award-winning science fiction but I'm not entirely sure.

The story has a main protagonist, a teenager who has the psychic ability to assassinate people. His cultist southern family takes him back after hearing about that, the patriarch talked with him outside and then the boy caught the whole cult camp on fire and escaped. A woman driving a model T picked him up if memory serves.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you recall when you read this? Any details about the cover or other stories in the anthology?
    – DavidW
    Apr 5 '20 at 3:08
  • Was this one of the various Nebula Awards anthologies? Apr 5 '20 at 4:58
  • And it looks like we've had this one before. I think this one has more details ultimately, so I made the other one a dupe of this one.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 5 '20 at 15:01

I have gotten the answer from another thread. It was the New Hugo Award Winners Vol. 2 edited by Isaac Asimov. The story itself is "Eye for Eye" by Orson Scott Card, which won the novella award in 1988.

Mick Winger has an unusual gift and with it has accidentally killed several people. When Mick gets angry at people, his power manifests itself by launching an attack upon them by giving them cancer, leukemia or related terminal illnesses. If made angry enough, his anger can outright kill the victim.


Eventually he is led back to his birth parents, who are members of a mysterious, secluded colony. Talking to his parents, who also possess his ability, he learns he is far more powerful than they or probably anyone else at the colony. Mick learns that what he sees as "sparks" his family only sees as dust; he even begins to realize that he can see when people are lying. After being brought to the villages Patriarch, Papa Lem, Mick learns the intent of the colony and how they operate. Mick then refuses to "spread his seed" with the daughter of Papa Lem and returns to his parents' house for the night. During the night, Mick is attacked by an agent of Papa Lem and others from the village. Mick ends up killing his father and setting fire to the village while at the same time learning new extents to his abilities.

  • 1
    Don't forget to self-accept in about 36 hours by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons. And congratulations! I recommend reading the tour and poking around to see what other questions you might answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 5 '20 at 14:55
  • And can you say which thread you got it from? Linking it might give someone else the hint they need to their answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 5 '20 at 14:56

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