I am looking for a book for my mum that she can't remember the name of.


  • The people lived in pod like rooms.
  • Fed by pills
  • Escape by a shoot.
  • They do that by working out the pods.
  • Set in the future.

My mum was at school GCSE around 1983 to 1987 if this helps.

  • There's a lot of dystopias that fit this, short works and novels abound (The Machine Stops is the one I remember school being fond of way back when, and that was just one of many). Is there anything else they can remember?
    – Radhil
    Apr 26 '17 at 20:05
  • Movement very limited by people in it.
    – Sophie
    Apr 26 '17 at 20:18
  • What do you mean by 'escape by a shoot'? Like, they left their rooms via a shoot? What's 'working out the pods' mean? How many protagonists were there? Apr 26 '17 at 20:26
  • 5
    @Phlegon_of_Tralles: I'd bet my hat they mean "escape by a chute".
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 26 '17 at 21:19
  • Any chance you could clarify on 'Escape by a shoot'? A good guess was given (above me) but it would help a lot if you could clarify on this.
    – Voronwé
    Apr 27 '17 at 9:00

I did some research on this website: http://best-sci-fi-books.com/96-dystopian-science-fiction-books/ and < http://www.utopiaanddystopia.com/dystopian-fiction/dystopian-literature-list/> and basically went through most of the books which were published before 1987.

Here (in ranked order) are books that were closest to your description(especially the 'living in pods' description):

  • The Machine Stops

The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard room, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted, but is unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine with which people conduct their only activity: the sharing of ideas and what passes for knowledge.

  • The Penultimate Truth

The story is set in a future where the bulk of humanity is kept in large underground shelters. The people are told that World War III is being fought above them, when in reality the war ended years ago.

  • The Sleeper Awakes

The Sleeper Awakes (1910) is a dystopian science fiction novel by H. G. Wells about a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, waking up in a completely transformed London, where, because of compound interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world. The main character awakes to see his dreams realised, and the future revealed to him in all its horrors and malformities.

  • Ender's Game

Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the "buggers", an insectoid alien species. In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult games including some in zero gravity, where Ender's tactical genius is revealed.

  • Ender's Game matches pretty much no part of the described book
    – Valorum
    Mar 31 '18 at 1:04

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