I'm looking for the author/title of a story that features a seer/psychic girl able to detect who is about to die soon, seeing them as transparent. The girl falls in love with a man who eventually becomes transparent, leaving the girl distraught.

Edit: Some details I remembered that may help: the story is similar to "Numbers" by Rachel Ward or "When" by Victoria Laurie. A girl who can somehow foresee when someone is about to die. Instead of seeing it in the form of numbers or specific dates, the girl in this story can tell when someone is about to die because the person becomes translucent. In the story, the girl starts seeing nearly everyone as translucent, meaning that a catastrophe is nearing which will kill a lot of people, rendering the girl depressed. When the girl sees someone who is not translucent, the girl falls in love, but one day sees him as translucent as well, meaning he'll most certainly is about to die.

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    Where and when did you read this? Do people become more transparent as they age? Does the same phenomenon apply to everything, just living things, or just people?
    – DavidW
    Jun 22, 2020 at 2:01
  • Sorry for the lack of details, it was a long time ago, I read it in some kind of sci-fi anthology or compilation back in the 80s or early 90s at the most. The people don't become transparent as they age, only when they are bound to die very, very soon. It applies only to people.
    – Sonny Z.
    Jun 22, 2020 at 9:59
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    I have read this, but I can remember only that it's not one of my 'core' authors. That narrows it down to a large stack of books though; will do some searching. Sep 23, 2020 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


Found it: the story is "Cassandra" by C. J. Cherryh, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 1978, October issue.

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    Thanks for answering; I see that I read it in the 1979 World's Best SF collection. Oct 7, 2020 at 12:01

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