9

I believe I read this English language short story around 1974 or 1975, but may have read it a few years later… I'm pretty certain I read it in the 70s though. It was in a small paperback a little bit larger than a chapbook, but smaller than a typical pulp paperback. I seem to recall this book being an anthology of very short stories, rather than a single story; I have the feeling this may have been from an educational publisher rather than a mass-market publication (I think I encountered it in a waiting room or reading room at a college). The cover may have been glossy white, perhaps with a band of yellow along one edge, and some pretty simple black line art with thick lines (something like a doodle with a sharpie), although I may be conflating the story I read with the cover of another book. I have vague recollections of the (likely adult) protagonist of the story I read being fearful of some kind of society-governing computer with a name presented in all caps… something like BACKATRACK, or BACKTALK or similar. When I first encountered advertisements for the role-playing game Paranoia in the 80s, I got a similar kind of vibe about The Computer antagonist from the game as from the story.

6
  • @user14111 Thank you! The only thing I recall about setting was that at least part of the story was inside a building, probably an institutional building. I don't really recall much about the protagonist. No idea if set on Earth or not.
    – Lexible
    Commented Apr 21 at 19:48
  • 3
    The Computer isn't the antagonist of Paranoia. The Computer is your friend.
    – Moriarty
    Commented Apr 21 at 23:25
  • 1
    I found this Wikipedia article with a list of fictional computers; I hope this is helpful.google.com/… Commented Apr 22 at 15:27
  • @StanleyWebb Thank you so much! I don't see any entries from the 50s–80s matching my vague recollections, but that is a very cool list! :)
    – Lexible
    Commented Apr 23 at 17:58
  • perhaps EPICAC?
    – user108131
    Commented Apr 25 at 5:58

0

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.