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I read this at least twenty years ago, but have no idea how old the book/story was.

Set in some indeterminate point in the future, typical have & have nots style. The youth battle each other using various weapons but guns are banned for not being 'sporting' (not sure if all projectile weapons treated the same).

The protagonist uses nunchucks and is a loner.

Somehow he gets involved with some science group who are investigating weird growths somewhere. He gets injured during this but has something in his pores that 'crawl' out and heals wounds but somebody doesn't understand them and keeps picking them off.

The only thing I recall is that he actually has a shotgun shell embedded in one end of the nunchucks so this could be used as gun if necessary.

marked as duplicate by FuzzyBoots story-identification Nov 1 at 10:47

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This is the 1980 The Artificial Kid by Bruce Sterling, as per Book involving a young boy who fights with nunchaku for reality show entertainment and Sci-fi story where all 'citizens' had shares in a global company

The Artificial Kid - Book Cover

The entertainment industry rules on Reverie, a world founded by Moses Moses as an experiment in corporate-controlled equality. Instead, the experiment has caused Reverie to mutate into a landscape of decadence & class division. Miles above the surface, the ultrawealthy live in orbital homes, watching surface citizens' home-produced videos of sex & extreme violence. The title character, Arti, is the most popular Combat Artist. These futuristic mirrors of professional wrestlers or American Gladiators confront each other in superheroesque battles (altho the Combat Artists' contests are real) within a complex system of honor, ritual & conduct. Arti has reached the height of his fame--equally loved by fans & friends, despised by competitors. However, he's not entirely who he seems to be. When the planetary founder mysteriously returns, The Artificial Kid finds himself embroiled in a power struggle that's not ready for prime time. Bruce Sterling, best known for his nonfiction work, The Hacker Crackdown, & the cyberthriller, Islands in the Net, presents a seminal, vivid & turbulent future. The Artificial Kid is a work of satirical social commentary with the breakneck pace of a Hong Kong action film.

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