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I'm looking for a dystopian sci-fi story where something (probably nano-machines) makes the ink in books disappear; thus depriving humanity of its history, knowledge, and culture. This prompts a rule that any (newly recovered) books must be read out-loud to a crowd of people.

I think the protagonist is female and that there is a scene where she dreams she's reading to a crowd and that the letters disappear from the page she's reading before she can finish.

It's possible this is just a dream or a scene in another story, or that it's a short-story in a collection.

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  • Actually there's a story by Ray Bradbury about a totalitarian state - that was the era they lived in then - where books were banned. Hence men and women actually memorised a book. They were living books. – Mozibur Ullah Jun 4 '20 at 17:43
  • Got to say that nano-bots seem like a complicated way of inducing ink to disappear. Are you sure it wasn't an ink-eating virus or bacterium? – Mozibur Ullah Jun 4 '20 at 17:45
  • @MoziburUllah It's possible it could've been a bacterium or virus... – Baard Kopperud Jun 4 '20 at 17:57
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    That is of course the premise of Stanislaw Lem's "Memoirs Found in a Bathtub", and it's a device to explain the existence of a vast underground military complex where people pretend to be in charge of some vast empire reaching to the stars (not unlike our contemporary Military-Industrial-Congressional-Judicial-Security-Complex) and speak in secret codes - that can recorded, played back, and decoded in any way you want, depending on which gotcha you would like to distill (much like Twitter). I digress,that's not it.But it rings a bell. – David Tonhofer Jun 4 '20 at 22:02
  • @MoziburUllah Your right, I think that is Fahrenheit 451, but I don't think that is the story in question. Nice idea though. – mwarren Jun 5 '20 at 7:25

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