I'm working from a half-remembered description, so there may be errors. I don't know if it's a short story or a novel, or when it was written, but I think I heard about it at least fifteen years ago.

The world is run by a central computer that makes all economic decisions. The protagonist is dissatisfied and becomes involved in a plot to destroy the computer. However, when the protagonist enters the room that was supposed to contain the computer, instead the computer's programming team is there to applaud his "success", and they invite him to join the team.

  • How do duplicates work with story-identification? Should two such questions with the same answers automatically be considered duplicates? If so, I can close this one accordingly. – Thom Smith Jul 11 '19 at 3:35
  • 1
    Basically yes; if we have 2 questions that have the same accepted answer then we close one as a duplicate of the other. I picked the other question as the duplicate target, since that question includes more details, and the answer also covers everything in this question. – DavidW Jul 11 '19 at 3:46

This is likely to be This Perfect Day (1970) by Ira Levin. The story has been previously asked about and successfully answered here.

Per the Wikipedia plot summary, there is a central controlling computer in charge of all economic decisions:

The world is managed by a central computer called UniComp (referred as just "Uni" in speech) ... They are told where to live, when to eat, whom to marry, when to reproduce, and for which job they will be trained.

Also, the protagonist (called Chip) attempts to destroy it but is instead invited to join the computer's central programming team:

Chip conceives of a plan—destroy the computer, UniComp, by blowing up its refrigeration system. He recruits other incurables to join him, and they make their way to the mainland. Just as they reach UniComp, one of the incurables—an agent of the programmers—betrays his partners and leads the rest of group at gunpoint to a secret luxurious underground city beneath UniComp, where they are met by Wei, one of the original planners of the Unification. Wei and the other "programmers" who live in UniComp have arranged this test so that the most daring and resourceful incurables will make their way to UniComp, where they, too, will live in luxury as programmers.

| improve this answer | |
  • I think that this is it. – Thom Smith Jul 11 '19 at 3:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.