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Old 10-21-2008, 02:04 PM   #1
RWJ
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Help me place this SciFi!

I have no idea if this is the right sub-forum - it's not about something I'm actually reading, so I thought here was most apt.

A couple of years ago I was staying at a friend's and read an anthology of SF short stories, all by the same author. They were pretty bleak, and Ellison-like; one of them was about a world in which all the humans lived underground in bunkers to avoid the radioactive pollution from nuclear war, but sent robots up top to keep fighting, and the robots decided never to tell the humans it was safe, so they could live in peace up top. In another, a primitive society worships a computer that they think is a god, and every year, a challenger has to ask it an unanswerable question, but if the computer can answer, they are "eaten" by the computer (dissolved in acid.) The friend has no idea what book it was (wasn't hers) and I am thinking it's either Philip K Dick or Ellison, but can't find anything to confirm this.

So, I promise vast (well, according to what I can give) karma points to anybody who can tell me who wrote this, in what book, or just confirm that they've read it too and I'm not going crazy(er).
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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Well, if anyone can answer this, I want a copy too!
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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I remember reading something like what you describe a few days ago but can't remember were, maybe it was at FantasticFiction.co.uk or was it Amazon......I'm looking....
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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This is a classic. So why can't we remember who wrote it?

Googling....

Eliminate Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein...

Googling Silverberg...


EDIT: Silverberg writes too much. I kept seeing stories I want to re-read, like "Sailing to Byzantium" and getting distracted, because then I went to the Yeats poem that originated the title, read that and fell back in love with Yeats, etc.

Last edited by DixieGal; 10-21-2008 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:24 PM   #5
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HA!

I think I got this one........

http://www.amazon.com/Penultimate-Tr...pr_product_top

Still looking for the other.......is this the one you are looking for, RWJ?
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
I think I got this one........

http://www.amazon.com/Penultimate-Tr...pr_product_top

Still looking for the other.......is this the one you are looking for, RWJ?
That's the one I mentioned I remember the cover.

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Old 10-21-2008, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
That's the one I mentioned I remember the cover.

Now, the poster did say they read this in a 'collection' of sci fi stories. Seems like a long story to include in a collection......
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:58 PM   #8
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This is from Amazon.co.uk:

Product Description
World War III is raging - or so the millions of people crammed in their underground tanks believe. For fifteen years, subterranean humanity has been fed on daily broadcasts of a never-ending nuclear destruction, sustained by a belief in the all powerful Protector. Now someone has gone to the surface and found no destruction, no war. The authorities have been telling a massive lie. Now the search begins to find out why.

Does it sounds like the one he mentioned?
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:01 PM   #9
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Yes, thats why I posted it.......couldn't be two books with that same plot?
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:24 PM   #10
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Not sure - it sounds a bit familiar, but not completely so... Was there a StarTrek-type of plot along those lines?
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
This is from Amazon.co.uk:

Product Description
World War III is raging - or so the millions of people crammed in their underground tanks believe. For fifteen years, subterranean humanity has been fed on daily broadcasts of a never-ending nuclear destruction, sustained by a belief in the all powerful Protector. Now someone has gone to the surface and found no destruction, no war. The authorities have been telling a massive lie. Now the search begins to find out why.

Does it sounds like the one he mentioned?
That sounds like maybe a novel-length expansion of the short story. It was brief; in the story in the anthology, no humans ever find out the truth, but the reader "learns" it from a robot's eye view. This makes me think it was an anthology of Dick, though.

On a slight tangent, I read The Man in the High Castle over the summer and it kind of blew my mind. I have no patience for postmodern political theory or history, but postmodern art can be just fantastic and provocative and challenging and enlightening - what art is supposed to be, in other words.

Thank you all for helping me to unearth this.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:16 PM   #12
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L.Ron Hubbard does the writers of the future program that is a collection of short Sci-Fi stories I think they are on Vol 20 or so. It may have been one of them.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:58 AM   #13
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That sounds like one of Isaac Asimovs robot short stories around the three laws of robotics. But which one of them - i don't know.
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