Read a SciFi short story a few years ago and can't recall the title or some deeper details.

The gist of it was that people gathered in a town square or other public place to regularly (daily?) listen to the screams of agony of people who are out exploring space. I may have gotten that last bit about space exploration wrong...

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    Hey, welcome! This is a nice start, but to enhance your chances of getting an answer, are there any other details that you can add? Where did you read it (library, borrowed it from someone, etc)? What language? Was it online, print? Anthology? Any detail, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can help narrow things down.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 6:41
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    If you remember any additional details (this checklist might be of help), you can edit your question to add these. Meanwhile, may I invite you to take the tour?
    – SQB
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 7:23
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    So, basically like a Miley Cyrus concert?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


"A Planet Named Shayol" by Cordwainer Smith? I remember something about screams from the prison planet being transmitted to Earth.

Mercer has been convicted of a crime that has no name. He is condemned to the planet Shayol, from where they broadcast the screams of the damned on the occasion of the Emperor's birthday. He is conducted to a satellite orbiting the planet, where he expects his punishment to start, but is treated like a patient in a hospital.

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