A book I read in the 90s in the UK. Probably written for young adults.

A hidden community where everyone is physically different.

One person has feathers. He brings in things from outside. One day he accidentally brings in a video of an athlete and they see that other peoples' bodies are symmetrical. The community realise they are the unusual ones and escape.

They end up at a rock concert... here my memory goes hazy. They turn out to be the children of some chemical disaster?

I've been trying to identify this for years!

  • My often comment: never heard of it but sounds intriguing.
    – releseabe
    Jun 17 at 12:10
  • That sounds tantalizingly familiar, complete with the escape having them pop out in the middle of a music event and initially being mistaken as being part of the spectacle.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 17 at 12:35
  • 1
    So I doubt it's John Varley's "The Persistence of Vision", as the people in the hidden community are all blind and deaf, but you should consider it.
    – Spencer
    Jun 17 at 12:55
  • 1
    Zero overlap with the Varley story. Jun 17 at 13:42
  • 3
    Thank you all for the suggestions. @Fuzzyboots I just read The Others on archive.org. It is very similar in theme to the story I half remember, so I'm not surprised you thought of it. But the book I read was longer, a standalone short novel rather than a short story in a collection. Wouldn't be surprised if they'd been inspired by the earlier book. Definitely not the Varley book.
    – Jason King
    Jun 17 at 14:56


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