I think I read this in the early 1990s.

I recall thinking that the basic premise, that it would only work if you got it young resonated -- just like if you take growth hormone as a child, indeed you can become much taller but as an adult, with very rare exceptions, because the ends of your bones have sealed, you don't get taller -- the natural condition is acromegaly, not sure if the call it that if the hormone is given artificially although some adults do take it.

The details I remember is the treatment changes the appearance of one's skin.

And, perhaps because of this change in appearance, a father realizes his son has undergone the treatment and out of envy, tries to kill him. (Isn't that nice?)

I am wondering the author and title. I figure it is not the only such story -- even Miri from STOS was sort of like that in that the crewmembers went to the planet and got infected got no life extension, only soon would become disfigured and go crazy and then die. (Note: I know that Miri is NOT the story I am looking for.)

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    Is this a Star Trek: the Original Series book? You used the tag. And, is it it a book, or a short story?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 23:31
  • @FuzzyBoots: The episode of STOS Miri is described. The wikipedia article about this episode mentions a "Tie-in sequel" and says: "The novel The Cry of the Onlies by Judy Klass takes place after the events of the episode." Perhaps this novel tells us whether the therapy was meant to be spread via a virus/microorganism or not.
    – releseabe
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 23:38
  • Not the same story, but Larry Niven's A World Out of Time (1977?) features an immortality treatment that only works on prepubescents. Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


This is a partial match to Sharon Webb's Earth Child trilogy, published in the early 1980s, in which children under 10 can be given the "Mouat-Gari" treatment, giving them immortality. I don't recall an effect on the children's skin, but there's a lot of attempted murder by adults jealous of the children. There's also a theme of loss of creativity by the children who have achieved immortality, if that helps.

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    for some reason i recall a male author and the title is not ringing a bell but i will look at this, thanks.
    – releseabe
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 22:35

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