The Happy Unfortunate is a science fiction novella by Robert Silverberg, first published in 1957.
The story explores the angst caused when the human race reaches into space but at the cost of needing to breed a new species; specialized 'spacers' who can withstand the tremendous rigors of acceleration.
Dekker, back from space, found great physical changes in the people of Earth; changes that would have horrified him five years before. But now, he wanted to be like the rest--even if he had to lose an eye and both ears to do it.
Spacers had been bred for big bodies and thick bones. Those stuck on the Earth called them apes, and decorated their puny bodies with plastic surgery. They did't mix, and when they did, someone got hurt.
The Happy Unfortunate was published first in Amazing Stories in 1957.
Robert Silverberg (born 1935) is a prolific American author, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF.