Late 70's, early 80's. Possibly Amazing Stories/Science Fiction Science Fact or similar periodical, possibly a reprint (astounding ?).

I am pretty sure this was not a comic, and for many years I believed the title was "The Union Forever" but not Barry N. Malzberg's.

All persons acquire a living allowance by means of a stock grant at birth. Employment is lucrative but nobody seems particularly interested in giving up their free time.

Employment is by frequently dodged draft.

The main character is drafted into a systems admin role, for which he is surprisingly qualified by comparison to the incumbents who are rorting the system (possible anti-socialist story line), having been taught (punched card) processing by an aged relative, possibly a grandfather.

Ala "Winston" in "1984" he attracts attention, and the "Union" makes a move...

  • 1
    What means "rorting?" I wot not this word.
    – DavidW
    May 31, 2019 at 3:24
  • Riding the gravy train, not actually working. Fraudulently misrepresenting their time cards etc.etc. Basically being as useful as mammary glands on a bull, but still cashing their paycheck.
    – mckenzm
    May 31, 2019 at 3:28
  • 2
    Probably "The Union Forever", a novella by Mack Reynolds in Analog, December 1980 but I don't seem to have a copy of that issue, so I can't confirm that the story matches your description.
    – user14111
    May 31, 2019 at 3:34
  • I'll check that by Monday, I do have that issue. Possibly from wandering down this path before. It would match his MO. I could be wrong about the title as well.
    – mckenzm
    May 31, 2019 at 5:25
  • 1
    The part about every U.S. citizen being issued some shares of "Basic Common Stock" at birth, thus giving him a small but steady source of income even if he never finds a steady pay, was a basic assumption in many of Mack Reynolds's stories. As soon as I read the question, I figured it had to be something by Mack Reynolds.
    – Lorendiac
    May 31, 2019 at 9:02


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.