The Ugly Little Boy

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The Ugly Little Boy is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. Robert Silverberg later expanded it into a novel with the same title (also published as Child of Time in the UK).

The story deals with a Homo neanderthalensis child which is brought to the future by means of time travel.

He is taken care of by nurse Edith Fellowes, who is initially repelled by his appearance but soon begins to see him as her own child, learns to love him and realises that he is far more intelligent than she imagined at first. She names him Timmy and tries to ensure that he has the best possible childhood (although he can never be allowed to leave his room as this would lead to a huge loss of energy), and she is enraged when the papers refer to him as an "ape-boy". Her love for Timmy brings her into conflict with her employer Stasis, Inc., which sees him more as an experimental animal than a human being.

The novel expands on the short story by introducing a subplot detailing Timmy's original Neanderthal tribe, and introduces another subplot dealing with a children's advocacy group which seeks to liberate Timmy.

The original short story was first published in 1958

The novel was first published in hardback in September 1992 by publisher Doubleday Foundation ( ISBN 0385263430).

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