I remember reading this story maybe 15 years ago - the style made me think of the 80es or 90es. I'm not sure if it was a short story, but I think it was.

The overall theme was that untruth in any form was banned, and in fact, there was a coming of age ceremony in which you were made to say things that were not true and punished with increasingly harsh electro shocks, after which you would be completely unable to even think of lying. One of the more humourous details was that even adverts and brand names were completely honest - I think a car model called 'Ford Adequate' featured.

It would be great to find this story again.

1 Answer 1


This is the novella City of Truth by James Morrow.

Truth reigns supreme in the city-state of Veritas. Not even politicians lie, and weirdly frank notices abound—such as warning: this elevator maintained by people who hate their jobs: ride at your own risk. In this dystopia of mandatory candor, every preadolescent citizen is ruthlessly conditioned, through a Skinnerian ordeal called a “brainburn,” to speak truthfully under all circumstances.

This review mentions the 'Ford Adequate'

I read this back when it came out, and had to see if it holds up (spoiler: it does). The story is unimportant: what you come for here is the setting, a city where people are conditioned (ala B F Skinner) to tell the truth. Instead of a Ford Reliant you have a Ford Adequate, and so forth. Lots of fun. Four figuratively pointed and bright objects.


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