[LMB] OT: I need help finding the title of a particular classic SF story

Karen A. Wyle kawyle at att.net
Tue Nov 20 23:51:02 GMT 2018


 That sounds like Howard Fast's "The First Men." Children were tested in infancy or toddlerhood, and the especially bright ones, the next step in human evolution, were raised apart from regular human society so they could develop their faculties. Not only those children but the children born to the researchers developed group telepathy and other powers.
Karen A. Wyle
    On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 5:56:19 PM EST, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:  
 
 I once found a particular short story that I'd been searching for, kept
careful note of its title and author... and now I find that I've misplaced
both.

There was a trope used in various works (novels to short fiction) by
different authors around the mid '60s to early '70s:  people were isolated
from mainstream society, began experimenting with free love and drugs, and
ultimately gained superhuman intelligence and powers.  It was this big
thing for a while.  The story I'm looking for is the first, the one that
marked the beginning of the trend.

I'm not thinking of "The Gold at Starbow's End" by F. Pohl, or the novella
published in Omni about the community of blind and deaf people.  There's a
particular story about a scientist who hypothesizes that just as a human
raised by chimps would be permanently psychologically stunted, 'normal'
people were stunting the development of those who had the capacity for
more, and so arranged for the military to have children raised with a
minimum amount of oversight and absolutely no contact with the outside
world, to see what kind of people they'd turn out to be.  Then hippies and
transcendence.  (Surprise!)

Does that sound familiar to anyone?  My searches in SF databases have
turned up few clues, and I initially stumbled across the story by accident
in a very old pulp printing of an anthology which I no longer have access
to.

Matt G.
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