A couple of years ago I read a review of an interesting novel, but I lost the details and have never read the book.

The background premise was that genetic engineering had progressed to the point where those who could afford it were "improving" their children. Many of these children had no need of sleep, with the abilty to be active 24 hours a day.

The story itself was set some 18-20 years later, when these children were entering adulthood and dealing with the bigotry and prejudice that arose when the "rest of us" started to realise what a competitive advantage the non-sleepers have.

Anyone recognise the novel?

  • One episode of The X Files features soldiers genetically adapted to avoid sleeping. but I didn't read the novel you mention
    – JuanZe
    Jan 17, 2011 at 2:19
  • Heinlein's novel Friday dealt extensively with (among other things) discrimination against those that were genetically engineered. The main character was genetically engineered and was cruelly discriminated against.
    – Mei
    Jan 24, 2012 at 20:27
  • 3
    As a father of two young girls, I can confirm this is just natural and not the result of any genetic engineering.
    – Mike Clark
    Mar 18, 2014 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


That sounds like Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress, which was originally published as a novella in 1991 and then expanded into a novel in 1993.

  • 1
    For reference: Beggars in Spain can be found in Wikipedia and in Amazon.
    – Mei
    Jan 24, 2012 at 20:26
  • 2
    And there are a number of sequels, each more depressing than the next. Utopia is achieved, and stupid humans turn it into dystopia. I really liked it, but the dashing of hopes bugged me.
    – geoffc
    Jun 21, 2012 at 13:47

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