John Varley's "The Persistence of Vision" (novella, utopia, free): Physical misfits create a society where they're the norm
Ending is very abrupt & arbitrary.
Caution: Story includes some sexually explicit scenes.
Story summary.An epidemic ("German measles, or rubella") left some 5000 children born blind & deaf in its wake. Society is generally caring - in its own way, but they'll always be misfits, & objects of pity. On reaching adulthood, a few dozen of them set out to build a community custom-built for them; one where being deaf & blind is the natural state of being.
Story is the description of their commune, seen from the eyes of a drifter who'll be a drifter no more.
- "To protest, one must be aware of the possibility of something better. It helps to have a language, too."
- "nothing is moral always, & anything is moral under the right circumstances."
- "Why is it that once having decided what I must do, I'm afraid to reexamine my decision? Maybe because the original decision cost me so much that I didn't want to go through it again."
Fact sheet.First published: F&SF, March 1978.
Download MP3 podcast of the story, read by Spider Robinson. [via Boing Boing]
Note: I've'nt personally heard this MP3; I've only read the original text version.
Winner of Hugo Award 1979 in novella category.
Winner of Nebula Award 1978 in novella category.
Related: Stories of John Varley.