Mark Clifton and Frank Riley’s 1957 They’d Rather Be Right is a science fiction fix-up novel. They’d Rather Be Right was also published as The Forever Machine.
They’d Rather Be Right has the reputation of being the worst novel to win the Hugo. Hyperbole or cold fact? Let’s find out!
In the latter part of the 20th century, kindly academic Dr. Martin realizes that Joey, the troubled boy he is assessing, is a telepath. Joey’s parents are conformist knuckle-draggers. The end result is that rather than being hailed as the next step in human evolution, poor Joey — later Joe — is consigned to a childhood of stupefying conformity.
Thirteen years later, Martin’s associate Dr. Billings, Dean of Psychosomatic Research at Hoxworth University, has desperate need of Joe’s unique talent.