I've been wondering for years about a story I read a long time ago and haven't been able to find again. The premise is that certain people at adolescence (or thereabouts) begin to emit a aura that makes people hate them and want to hurt or kill them. The thing I remember is that they are called "stinkers". In the end the stinkers discover that they are all psychokinetics.

The time frame for when I probably read it is as little as 45 years ago and perhaps as much as 60 years ago.


1 Answer 1


"Invader On My Back" (isfdb) by Philip E. High. Alien invaders have sent out telepathic signals that divide the human race. Some people are "Delinks" (short for delinquents) who are amoral criminals, some are "Norms" (normal people) and some are "Scuttlers", who are afraid of the sky. Turns out this is because they're the only ones who are able to see the devices in the sky that send out the signals (so they're afraid to look up) And of course the Stinkers.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer, I'm going to get a copy, some of it looks similar, but I'm fairly sure at ten years old it's far too recent. Still I've been know to be wrong before, so I'll check it out. I remember the ending of the story included a group of the stinkers sitting on the ground with their legs folded and then flying off.
    – ecmasonjr
    Oct 7, 2021 at 21:24
  • 6
    @ecmasonjr it was written in 1968 Oct 7, 2021 at 21:52
  • 2
    My mistake I was going on the publication date from the websites I was looking on. Did I mention I might be wrong? Thanks for the information.
    – ecmasonjr
    Oct 7, 2021 at 21:54
  • 1
    I've got a copy coming next week. I guess I've forgotten most of the story in 50 years.
    – ecmasonjr
    Oct 7, 2021 at 22:09
  • I acquired what may well be a fifty year old paperback and I have just finished reading it. It is indeed the book I asked about and I would like to thank you as I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading it again after all these years.
    – ecmasonjr
    Oct 17, 2021 at 21:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.