The story is told in the first person. The telepath finds his ability more an affliction than a gift, because he finds people can be overwhelming. He yearns to meet another telepath, hoping at least to have someone who would at least share his problem and could commiserate. When he does, the reader could imagine for a moment that it is turning into a 'boy meets girl' story. Instead, they both realize the sheer awfulness of complete loss of privacy, and I think the story ends with them shouting 'get out, get out' at each other.

I read this between 1970 and 1974, but of course it could have been printed earlier. But it does mention World War II, so not pre-war.

I was convinced that it was by Poul Anderson, but I've raked through everything I could find, without luck.


1 Answer 1


"Journeys End", a short story by Poul Anderson, first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1957, available at the Internet Archive. You may have read it in one of these compilations. I quote the last lines of the story, after the boy and girl telepaths have met:

The thought hung cold under the sky, a single thought in two minds.

*—get out i hate your bloody guts.—"

The story is told in the third person, but closely follows the thoughts of the telepath Norman Kane. There is no mention of World War II. It is mentioned that Norman dodged the draft in 1949.

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    Wow! Thank you!
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    Apr 7, 2022 at 13:39
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