Trying to find short story (50s/60s?) about 2 telepaths meeting

Katurday

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Oct 4, 2012
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Hi all,

I'm trying to locate a short story I read in the early 90s. At the time I thought the book it was in was from the 50s or 60s, but I was only about 9 and maybe I thought it looked/seemed older than it was. Can't remember whether I actually checked the copyright date. Here's what I remember of the story:

1. It was one in a collection of short stories - don't know if they were all by the same author or different ones.

2. The story is about a man who is telepathic and finds being around others stressful due to their dark/sordid/morally objectionable thought-streams. The only person he finds calming is a priest and there's a line about the priest having a mind like a deep, peaceful well (or similar).

3. The man is the only one of his kind as far as he knows, until he comes across a woman who has the same power. I think this happens when they sense each other while on passing trains.

4. Initially they are very excited not to be alone anymore, but the story ends with them thinking the same thought at one another simultaneously: "I hate you." This is because they've seen the darkest corners of each others' minds.

Any thoughts appreciated!! Thanks in advance...
 

Ravensquawk

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Apr 30, 2006
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Who knew that a search for a story I remember so well could be so difficult?
It's a Theodore Sturgeon short story. Then my memory of reading it in 1982 didn't help with the title. It is most likely "It's You!".

Runner up was "Contact".
What's funny to me is that it was probably not "Strangers On a Train", even though they telepathically meet while riding on trains.

All of his short story anthologies are worth another read just to visit the stories again.
 

j d worthington

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Ted Sturgeon? That's odd; the one which comes to mind with me is Poul Anderson's "Journeys End" (no apostraphe), which can be found in Damon Knight's anthology, A Science Fiction Argosy. I don't recall the bit about the priest, or the train, but everything else is very much as you describe it....
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Ted Sturgeon? That's odd; the one which comes to mind with me is Poul Anderson's "Journeys End" (no apostraphe), which can be found in Damon Knight's anthology, A Science Fiction Argosy. I don't recall the bit about the priest, or the train, but everything else is very much as you describe it....

I agree. This has to be "Journey's End."
 

Katurday

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Oct 4, 2012
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Here is an example of how the internet is great. Journeys End is the one. I looked up a few Theodore Sturgeon stories and thought the writing style was just too different for it to have been one of his (how I could be so sure of this after 20 years I do not know). But now we have the answer. Thanks to all who replied for your help!
 

moriarty321

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Dec 18, 2014
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Was having the same difficulty as Katurday - certain the story was an Asimov and finally tonight sat down to search in earnest. After about an hour of fruitless research I abandoned that concept and changed my search parameters from an Asimov story to just a science fiction story - Bang! This thread came up immediately - a quick reference to my old library copy of Damon Knight's "Argosy" offering (pp. 633-641) confirmed your information.
BTW: isfdb claims the story is also in "The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Seventh Series".
Am delighted to have this mystery? lack of memory? solved prematurely and am putting this website on my favorites list.

I own over a hundred, mostly vintage, sci-fi short work compilations and in the past year and a half have been re-reading them (still less than half-way through) and creating a database document to use when I am trying to remember where that "one story" is located. Haven't gotten to that particular Damon Knight title yet - had a similar problem with Eric Frank Russell's "And Then There Were None" last year.

Now there's a movie? TV series? that has a youth(?) getting advice from a Dragon(?) chained in a cave that eventually tells the kid he'll have to rely on his(?) own wits - the creature can't help him any more. Any ideas as to what the video title might be?
 

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