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Old 01-20-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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Please help me find this story.

A friend recently told me about a story he'd read. He couldn't remember the author or title. It was about a man whose library book - Kidnapped - was overdue. I think he disputed the fine and went to court where the magistrate thought he'd been involved in a kidnapping, not realising that was the name of the book. So he was charged with kidnapping. It goes on with a series of bureaucratic errors such as the fact that R L Stevenson is dead: he is put on trial for murder, found guilty and given the death sentence. (Obviously not set in modern UK).

Nigel, my friend, was telling me about this as an example of how a simple thing like an overdue book could lead - via inefficient bureaucracy and a series of small errors - to crazy consequences.

I'd love to read the story if anyone knows it. He can't remember where he read it, but thinks it may have been in a magazine.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
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The title is Computers Don't Argue; the author is Gordon R. Dickson. It's anthologized all over the place. You can even find apparently-legitimate versions online with a simple search.

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Old 01-22-2010, 05:53 PM   #3
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That's brilliant Xenophon; thanks so much for the info! Will be googling it asap.
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