Looking for the title of a short sci-fi story, in which a guy was able to 'recreate' the woman of his dreams, only it was conceived still and dead, since her body lacked all the essentials of life. The guy was arrested for murder, then an autopsy reveals she has no organs, it was basically, a beautiful lump of flesh. Someone later explains that because he didn't know any anatomy or biology, all he could recreate was the woman's outside. I read the story in the late 80's.

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    I remember this story, but I cannot remember the name. It's a hen pecked husband who discovers that he can create anything he can picture in his mind. He tries creating money, but it looks like monopoly money because he can't picture a perfect dollar bill. When his wife is out he tries to create the perfect woman but as you say he knows nothing of anatomy so he creates in effect a dummy made from something like minced meat. I think in the end he claims to have lost the ability to stop his wife nagging him. Jan 12, 2021 at 6:43
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    You are SO right, I've just remember the monopoly-like money! Your comment made me remember the hen-pecked aspect of the husband, I think he was treated as a good-for-nothing, his 'creation' being some sort of replacement for his nagging wife.
    – Chris
    Jan 12, 2021 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


It's The Talent of Harvey by Howard Fast. I have a copy in the anthology Time and the Riddle.

It is an answer to the question Short sci-fi story about a man who can make things with his mind suggested by user14111, though not the leading answer. The scene with the woman is:

"To hell with it!” he said. It was a new Harvey Kepplemen. He stood up, his spine erect. “Tall, blond, beautiful—” he whispered, and then hesitated over the notion of intelligence. “To hell with intelligence!”

He reached out into the air in front of him with both hands now, and suddenly there she was, but he couldn’t hold her and she fell with an enormous thud and lay sprawled on the floor, a blond, naked woman, very beautiful, very large, magnificently full-breasted, blue eyes wide open and very motionless and apparently lifeless.

Harvey stood staring at her.

The result of the autopsy was:

“She is only dead in a technical sense. As I said, she was never alive. She is the incredible construction of a bewildered Dr. Frankenstein or some kind of nut. Mostly on the outside she is all right, except that whoever put her together forgot her toenails. Inside, she has no heart, no kidneys, no liver, no lungs, no circulatory system, and practically no blood, and what blood she has is not blood, because nothing she has is like what it’s supposed to be.”

“Then what’s inside of her?” Serpio demanded.

“Mostly a sort of crude beefsteak."

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    This is it - good eye, John Rennie! For a while I was thinking it could be "What Rough Beast?", a novelette by Damon Knight, similar story, only Knight's character pulls things from parallel universes. Thank you so much for your time, how sweet it is when we can click with our own past. Cheers!
    – Chris
    Jan 12, 2021 at 10:35
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    Google Books let me (re)read most of the story, only a few pages omitted. Now I want a prune danish. Jan 12, 2021 at 15:17

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