I am looking for a book that I read in the mid 90's. The book was written in a post nuclear war setting. It was about a group of people that lived in an underground city with a glass dome at the top part of the city.

If anyone committed a serious crime their punishment was to be banished outside the dome. In the book the main character get banished for a crime he didn't commit and finds the outside world is safe to live in.

He bangs on the glass dome to try and tell everyone, but everyone thinks he is going insane from radiation poisoning.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any idea what the cover looked like? Check out the suggestions for good story-id questions to see if there's anything else you can edit into your question.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 2:17
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    It sounds a bit like the start of Wool but that was written a lot later
    – Danny Mc G
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 2:30
  • Not sure about the "glass dome" part, but I've seen variations of the basic premise on multiple occasions. Viewpoint character's exile is expected to kill him, quickly or slowly, but he discovers it really ain't all that bad outside the hermetically sealed community in which he grew up! (Sometimes he manages to persuade others to give it a try; sometimes he doesn't.)
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 5:23
  • @Ndstructable How does the mc know the outside is safe? All he knows is that he is still alive and that he feels all right. For all he knows he could already be dying without any noticeable pain yet. And why don't the people in the dome have any idea of the half lives of various radioactive isotopes produced in atomic explosions? Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


Sounds a lot like Philip K Dick's The Penultimate Truth.

The leaders know that the surface is habitale, but have kept the hoi polloi ignorant of this so that they themselves can live there in luxury. Iirc the hero is invited to join them, but privately intends to blow the gaff at the first opportunity.

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