I roughly remember the premise as follows:

A protagonist finds out that a televangelist has encouraged his audience to vote to kill him. In 24 hours he should die.He spends that time trying to stop the process and finally goes to bed resigned not to wake back up. When the time passes everyone who voted for his death dies instead and he's fine.

This was part of a larger anthology I read as a kid. I know I have found it before, but am struggling to do so now.

1 Answer 1


"Zap Thy Neighbor" by James Hogan, described by the author here

But also going on is the fact that, through food additives, the society has pre-wired everyone’s brain with a particular neural code. If three people get your code and then transmit that code, you’re zapped. It’s a way to control society’s misfits, to make everyone more polite. If you get too far out of hand your private zap code gets published. You find everybody getting real polite real quick. Except that these two reporters get drunk and piss everybody off. I won’t tell you any more about it except to say that a lot of people die.

From my memory, the story ends just like you describe, with the revelation that

the system that purportedly eliminates the unpopular actually eliminates those willing to kill the unpopular (I think after you've made your n-th vote to kill someone, you die instead).

The anthology you read is likely How To Save the World edited ny Charles Sheffield.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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