“Kindness,” Lester del Rey, 1944 – A “normal” man finds himself pitied by homo superior. He lives the life of a living museum exhibit, treated kindly by those who tolerate him. He certainly will never find a mate, and he’s profoundly alienated from the culture as a whole, terribly self-conscious. To him, the superior humans seem to be able to read his mind. However, it’s the simplicity of his desires, the unscreened “data” broadcast by his body, which they read effortlessly, and his reliance on stock narratives which make him, and his plans to escape, so adorably predictable. In other words, as an act of kindness, they planted the idea of his escaping in a rocketship (another museum piece) in one of his comic books.
Comments: Effective story describing one human’s feelings of alienation and obsolescence. Similar in theme to del Rey’s story, “The Day is Done.”
Author: Wikipedia: “Lester del Rey (June 2, 1915 – May 10, 1993) was an American science fiction author and editor. Del Rey was the author of many of the Winston Science Fiction juvenile SF series, and the editor at Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction branch of Ballantine Books, along with his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.”