I read this story as a kid, and I'd like to find it again! It was a story about a group of children with physical mutations like extra eyes, missing limbs, and so on, who lived in an group so isolated from other humans that they didn't even know 'normal' people existed, until one child became sick and non-mutants were forced to intervene. It was told from third person point of view of a preteen girl and her feelings about discovering she'd be considered a monster to the rest of humanity, when the community of mutant children were very supportive of each other and she was something of a leader. The one detail I remember well was the mutants all had names beginning with an "Em", something like Emellen, Emesszie, Emaarty (those aren't the actual ones), and when the non-mutants came one of them mentioned they were actually acronyms with the Em standing for mutant (MLN becoming Emellen, Emesszie = MSZ, Emaarty = MRT and so on).

I read this in the very early 80's, so it would had to have been older than that. It was collected in a large book of science fiction stories aimed at younger readers, and I think there were illustrations at the beginning of each story - I want to say they were painted, possibly in color, and they were small and above the title, but this may be my memory playing me false. I'm afraid I don't recall any of the other stories in the volume; one of them may have been about an underwater city. I'm pretty sure all the stories had children as protagonists.

  • This story also made a huge impact on me as a girl, and I was reminded of it while watching the Oscar-contending short documentary "Chau" about children in Vietnam affected by Agent Orange. Kids are kids and deserve a life worth living.
    – user62056
    Feb 15, 2016 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


It's the story "The Others" by J. Hunter Holly. The story is in the anthology The Other Side of Tomorrow by Roger Elwood.

This seems a very obscure anthology. I thought I had a copy, but it seems to have been misplaced over the years. If it helps, there is a review in this blog that goes into some detail about the story. It's also on Google Books.

  • Thank you, that's the one! I hadn't been able to track down a copy, either. I had just remembered a few more details this morning and was coming to edit, and it was great to see it had already been answered. I find it interesting I remembered the main character as a girl instead of a boy.
    – Viergacht
    Apr 11, 2014 at 10:44

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