10

I read this short story in a sci-fi anthology probably between 5 and 10 years ago, possibly one of the Year's Best SF anthologies. It's set in a world where psychic powers are common, and people with psychic abilities form an upper class over the non-psychic lower class. Many people make a living using specific psychic powers; for instance there is a floating restaurant that employs several hundred psychics to keep it levitated.

The main character has an illness that causes him to gradually lose his psychic powers. He somehow gets in trouble with the law and goes on the run. During this time he also makes contact with the disembodied mind of a powerful psychic who helps him.

Eventually it turns out that his illness was part of a metamorphosis and he ends up with more powerful psychic abilities than ever before. The disembodied mind proves to be that of the original inventor of psychic powers, who accidentally severed his mind from his body many years before. The main character helps him get back into his body, which has been maintained on life-support all this time.

Does anyone know what story this is?

  • Nathan, You are describing exactly what I've been searching for for a few months now. I tried looking through the Anne McCaffrey books as the person suggested in the only response to your inquiry, but still had no luck in finding the story I was looking for. Did you happen to find it? – AlphaBravoh Feb 24 '18 at 0:11
  • No, I still haven't found it. :( I looked through plot summaries of the 'To Ride Pegasus' stories, but none of them match what I remember. – Nathan Reed Feb 24 '18 at 0:30
  • I will continue the search then.... Thank you so much for the quick reply after all these years. If I do end up finding it, I will be sure to let you know. Cheers! – AlphaBravoh Feb 24 '18 at 0:34
5

The story is called Carrier by Robert Sheckley. I read it years ago from a collection of stories in Space Odyssey: An Anthology Of Great Science Fiction Stories. However it seems to have first appeared in Worlds of IF Science Fiction April 1954. You can actually find this for free online at archive.org

On Page 51 of Worlds of IF Science Fiction April 1954 the story begins. It's exactly as Nathan describes it. Edward Ecks is a psi user who, at the very beginning notices a loss in his abilities. Paul Marrin, a psi health officer learns that Ecks is an alleged carrier for a disease that is causing other psi's to lose their abilities as well. They attempt to apprehend him but Ecks flees. It's precisely the same story. I'm just so happy to have finally found it.

Enjoy!

  • Can you provide any details that suggest this is the same story? – Edlothiad Feb 24 '18 at 16:47
  • archive.org/details/1954-04_IF Page 51 The story begins. It's exactly as Nathan describes it. Edward Ecks is a psi user who, at the very beginning notices a loss in his abilities. Paul Marrin, a psi health officer learns that Ecks is an alleged carrier for a disease that is causing other psi's to lose their abilities as well. They attempt to apprehend him but Ecks flees. It's precisely the same story. I'm just so happy to have finally found it. – AlphaBravoh Feb 24 '18 at 16:51
  • That's it! And Space Odyssey was sitting on my shelf ever since I first read this story, lol. Thanks!! – Nathan Reed Feb 24 '18 at 17:43
2

This sounds a little like Anne McCaffrey's Pegasus/Talent books. I believe that there was a short story or novella set in that universe whichofgt be what you are looking for, probably one of the stories in the To Ride Pegasus anthology.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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