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Can anyone help me find a near-future sci fi short story I read many years ago about a hacker whose sentence was never to use computers again? I believe the sentence was enforced through an implant that made him suffer if he thought about doing so. As I recall he was on the verge of starvation because he couldn't do so much as pay for food without using a computer.

The story involved someone, maybe the narrator?, taking pity on him and buying him a meal at the diner where he'd been staring in the window or something.

It felt like perhaps Philip K. Dick or Gibson, maybe, but I could be misremembering.

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    My first instinct was Neuromancer, but the differences are a bit big - not an implant but a neurological scrambling. And he was unable to connect, not suffering if he thought about it. And he switched to being a general criminal/hustler, not on the edge of starvation. And there was no pity anywhere. :) – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jan 12 '15 at 5:21
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    It's definitely not Neuromancer, although I can see why my description would remind you of that! I probably shouldn't have said it feels like Gibson -- it's much less gritty than that. – Marjorie Carlson Jan 12 '15 at 16:58
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This is A Perfect Fit by Isaac Asimov.

... about a hacker whose sentence was never to use computers again

I have been adjusted, as you surely know, so that I am incapable of looking at a computer without hurting my eyes, or touching one without blistering my fingers. I can't even handle my cash card or even think of using it without nausea.

I believe the sentence was enforced through an implant that made him suffer if he thought about doing so.

Not an implant, but a

combination of hypnosis and direct neuroconditioning

As I recall he was on the verge of starvation because he couldn't do so much as pay for food without using a computer.

He was hungry. Periodically he was hungry.

The story involved someone, maybe the narrator?, taking pity on him and buying him a meal at the diner where he'd been staring in the window or something.

Not quite. He's indeed staring through the window of a restaurant, and then he's manipulating a boy to order dinner for him.

The story was first published in EDN magazine in 1981 and is available on their website. It was collected in “The Winds of Change and Other Stories” in 1983.

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