325A: Pubescent Children Develop Telepathic Powers

There’s a novel that I read years ago (late 70’s or early 80’s) from a library in England for which I can no longer remember the author or the title; so if you recognize the content, I’d be a happy camper. 🙂

The only things I can remember are…

1/ It was about mental powers, telepathy, etc

2/ Children developed these abilities at or around puberty (I think). If I remember correctly, the general populace/government reacted badly to these children.

3/ There was a woman scientist who studied these children and came up with a way to synthesize the catalyst, which she then tried on herself and, after a really rough transition, found that she had the same abilities.

3.1/ I’ve also got a vague recollection (so take it with a grain of salt) that other adults who tried to gain these powers died.

4/ The initial symptom of these powers was an increase in sensory perception and intense pleasure – enough to lock the affected person into repeating whatever felt good regardless of what it was doing to them.

4.1/ The woman scientist/doctor who managed to synthesize the activating chemical and used it on herself ended up “making love” to a tree (I’ve got a dim memory of the description of the feel of the bark against her naked skin).

4.2/ Another scene (probably just a paragraph or sentence) had a description of a boy who kept “pleasuring himself” for hours; even though he was now raw and bleeding, he couldn’t stop. (I think this was one of the notes the scientist/doctor compiled about the affected children, rather than being a central theme or character development).

4.3/ The powers allowed the children to feel the emotions of others (though I do not remember if it was limited to others with powers or everyone in general) and they banded together to feel safe/loved/etc. when the rest of the world turned against them due to fear. I don’t remember if it was true telepathy or just extreme empathy.

5/ Once she had the same abilities as the children, the woman scientist joined up with a group of them – presumably to help defend them against the haters.

Beyond that, I have no idea. The only other non-story items I know are…

  • I read it late-70’s or early 80’s.
  • Given the more grown-up content, it is not likely to be a children’s book; though it could be Teens and older.

I know it’s not much to go on, but it’s been driving me batty trying to remember the title.

 

2 thoughts on “325A: Pubescent Children Develop Telepathic Powers

  1. Are you sure you’re not mixing up two books? The whole plot with telepathically gifted youngsters – including them being hated or persecuted by society in general and a female scientist helping them out – sounds a lot like “The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham (maybe written under an alias). The rest – the catalyst and the sexual parts so to say – is unknown to me.

    • No, I’m definitely not mixing up two books. It’s definitely a different book to the Chrysalids. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed that one (along with Day of the Triffids, Trouble With Lichen, etc).
      I also know that it’s not:
      The Tomorrow People by Roger Price
      The Inner Wheel by Keith Roberts
      A Coming of Age by Timothy Zahn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*