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A friend described a book he remembered reading as "It was set in a future dystopia ruled by an aristocracy fitted with mental implants. At a certain age, all children got fitted with an implant, and those whose bodies accepted the implants became/remained part of the social elite, and those who rejected it became slaves (shaved heads were important somehow in this whole process - I THINK the slaves all had shaved heads).

The story was written from the point of view of a child of one of the most elite elites, as their social group approached their implant fittings.

In the end of the story, one of the child's close friends becomes a slave, and the child finds out that who will reject their implant, and hence become a slave, is in fact decided in advance and is done to maintain the status quo.

It would have been young-adult SciFi, PROBABLY written before the '80s."

It sounds very familiar but no matter what I search for or try to remember I can't get anywhere. Does anyone recognize this plot?

marked as duplicate by Otis, Bellatrix, Blackwood, Edlothiad, Micah Aug 28 '18 at 4:49

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    Some vague resemblance to the Tripods (The White Mountain, ...), but that doesn't sound right unless your friend has several things confused. – dmckee Dec 31 '13 at 1:30
  • I don't know the book, but I like it already. – Mr Lister Dec 31 '13 at 11:03
  • Also sounds a lot like The Giver... except for some critical differences. – Matt Dec 31 '13 at 16:56
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Devil On My Back by Monica Hughes? Everyone lives in a dome, and after a riot the boy accidentally ends up on the outside.

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