9

I remember reading it in a collection of stories it's about a poet who is put in a prison where they put a microchip in the inmates brains and if they try to leave it makes them feel intense pain. The protagonist eventually escapes and goes to a doctor to get the chip removed but he gets captured again and the doctor is also imprisoned with him.

I remember the book also had "a sound of thunder" in it as well if that helps.

Also another one of the stories in the book involved a supercomputer name thunder which had enslaved humanity by giving creating a matrix style paradise but was slowly falling apart and people were waking up.

  • 1
    About how long ago did you read it? – user14111 Jun 8 '16 at 11:37
  • A few years ago but I think the book that the short story was in was published around the 80's – Tameneeon Jun 8 '16 at 11:46
  • Do you remember what the crime was? – FuzzyBoots Jun 8 '16 at 11:47
  • Here is a list of collections containing "A Sound of Thunder"; click into a title and see the table of contents. Here are the covers; anything look familiar? – user14111 Jun 8 '16 at 11:51
  • Sorry the details are a little vague but I remember it was something to do with speaking out against the government or some kind of protest. – Tameneeon Jun 8 '16 at 11:51
12

It was 'The Winner' by Donald Westlake, collected in 1973's Science Fiction, edited by Sylvia Z. Brodkin alongside Bradbury's 'A Sound of Thunder'.

Not very far in the future at all, political prisoners have been implanted with a small black box that causes them to feel unbearable pain if they venture too far away from a signal transmitted inside their unwalled and mainly unguarded prison. It’s a pilot program, that may soon be used in all prisons, for all crimes.

A poet has been imprisoned for unknown crimes. He refuses to accept his imprisonment, and tells the warden (named Wordman) so, before he walks out into the field surrounding the prison, in ever greater agony, until he collapses. His screams can be heard from the warden’s office. Wordman feels every scream in his soul, but he wants the poet to learn his lesson. Then the screams stop. They search for the poet. They do not find him.

The poet was picked up by a farmer, who not understanding what was going on, took him to a doctor, who does understand what is happening, and thoroughly disapproves. He removes the black box. But by then the authorities have found them, and both are now imprisoned, with black boxes inside of them. The poet says he’s sorry. The doctor says not to be. At their earliest opportunity, they both intend to go walking into that field again, together. Wordman thinks they’re both insane. But the madness may be catching.

https://thewestlakereview.wordpress.com/category/donald-westlake-short-stories/

  • 1
    Congratulations! Please accept your answer when the system lets you (generally 48 hours after you'd submitted it). – FuzzyBoots Jun 8 '16 at 12:30
  • Was this made into an TV episode I wonder. I swear I have watched something like this on TV at some point. – Zoredache Jun 8 '16 at 18:42

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