A relative told me about a book they read when they were young; about from 1980 through to 1995.

People live in a dome on Earth (must be after some apocalyptic event) and they think they are the only survivors. They are unable to venture outside, so cannot see what the world is like.

A man commits a crime, and is given the ultimate penalty: he is shot out of the dome high into the atmosphere, to die.

At the end of the story, the man looks down at the Earth as he is shot out and sees similar domes all over the countryside... then dies.

Any ideas what this story could be? My relative is almost certain it is a book, but it could possibly be a long short story or novella.

  • 3
    "A long short story" I wonder if that makes it a medium story.
    – Möoz
    Mar 18, 2016 at 9:15
  • 1
    Novella, maybe?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 18, 2016 at 12:44
  • 1
    I have read this and believe it was a book. I rather liked it at the time I think. Published over 30 years ago so before about 1985. The rebellious were exiled by catapult. The domes or perhaps walled cities were I think on top of towers above a (perhaps previously toxic) cloud layer and no one had seen the surface in generations.
    – KalleMP
    Apr 19, 2016 at 20:44
  • a similar story is WOOL a YA series, but its silos rather than domes. Jun 30, 2017 at 3:15
  • 1
    @GwenKillerby Don't know that I'd consider WOOL a YA, but there are some similarities between the "cleanings" and ejection into the environment -- if the OP read only one of the stories that made up the first novel, this might be all s/he got. You might want to make that an answer and let folks vote on it.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


The book mentioned by KalleMP was "Habitation One", by Fredrick Dunstan and is based in the last city on earth, perched at the top of a gigantic tower. It starts out with the arrival in the city of an "angel". Angels are a rare phenomenon normally just observed flying at a distance beyond the city walls. This one crash-lands in the agricultural district and causes a bit of a religious problem as the servants of the lord aren't supposed to splatter so much. People get all heretical and are shot into the void via giant catapult as a form of discouragement.

Naturally, the angels turn out to be heretics from the other last cities...

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