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This is a book that I started reading as a kid but didn't finish. I remember it involved a young girl who lived in a society underground where there is no light. None who lived there have experienced sight before. Their time is strictly regulated by clocks. I think I remember the clocks being described as talking of demanding things of them with the chimes. The chimes call everyone back in. One day, she doesn't come in, and meets something either on the surface or outside and it shows her light. Soon she sneaks out often to experience this new sense with the forbidden creature. That's about as far as I got. This would have been around 2004, but the book was not brand new at that point.

Before anyone asks, this isn't the City of Ember. I read that as a kid too and would have remembered.

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    Reminiscent of Dark Universe (1961) by Daniel F Galouye. However that had a male protagonist and I can't remember any clock devices – DannyMcG Sep 12 '17 at 3:40
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    I have a copy of the book in PDF format and indeed, nothing with chimes and nothing with clocks. – FuzzyBoots Sep 12 '17 at 4:06
  • However you looking for it as a book, it reminds me the movie "THX 1138" – Digerkam Sep 12 '17 at 13:52
  • I’m looking for the title of the story as well. It involved a wealthy woman who adopted a little boy, and was beginning to find dirt on her living room carpet. That was impossible because they did not go outside. She finally discovered where he was getting outside was one of the emergency escape doors to the colony. The story ends with her standing in the doorway looking at the sunshine and the trees and the fresh air. – Sue Cronservative Feb 13 at 16:28
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    @DannyMcG If that's the one I also recall, the people living in the dark had learned to echo locate, and had a clockwork device in their main cavern that sent out sharp sounds so everyone could "see" around them. There was no "sneaking out", however; protagonist was male, with a female friend. They had a ritual where they examined a "light" -- which was a light bulb they could no longer operate -- and others with "manual stimulation of the optic nerve" with pressure on the eyeballs, mainly a device to explain how their brains still knew how to see after lives in the dark. – Zeiss Ikon Feb 13 at 16:51
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From the description, and clued to the title/author by a comment, I'm pretty sure this is Dark Universe, published 1961 by Daniel F. Galouye, and nominated for a Hugo (though it didn't win) in 1962. I have a paper copy at home, but I'm not there at present.

The people living in the dark had learned to echo locate, and had a clockwork device in their main cavern that sent out sharp sounds so everyone could "see" around them. There was no "sneaking out", however; protagonist was male, with a female friend. They had a ritual where they examined a "light" -- which was a light bulb they could no longer operate -- and others with "manual stimulation of the optic nerve" with pressure on the eyeballs, mainly (in my opinion) a device to explain how their brains still knew how to see after lives in the dark.

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