I read this story many years ago as a teenager.

It is set in an overpopulated near future. A man and his pregnant wife are at home in their small apartment.

Suddenly an public announcement is made on the TV, that an asteroid (?) is going to hit the Earth. The government has prepared deep underground shelters for just such an emergency, but there are only limited places in the shelters. To be fair, tickets will be made available and everyone will have the chance to get one (can't remember how). Anyway, the protagonist goes out in search of tickets. So does everyone else, and mass panic, rioting and bloodshed follow. Somehow, after much tribulation, he manages to get a ticket. He returns to the apartment exhausted and traumatised, but at least he knows that his family will be guaranteed safety.

Then there is another announcement on the TV, saying the whole thing was a government hoax, to reduce the population. This tips the man over the edge, and he shoots his wife.

The story sounds morbid and implausible, but I'm just curious as to who wrote it.

  • 4
    If you believe these to be two separate authors writing these works, this absolutely needs to be split into two separate questions. If you're looking for two separate works from the same author, this may still need to be split into two separate questions.
    – phantom42
    Apr 5, 2015 at 23:04
  • BTW, though I voted to close I think that both questions are suitable for the site, you just need to edit one out of this question and post it separately. This one can then be re-opened by the same kind of process that placed it on hold. Apr 6, 2015 at 0:53
  • 1
    Voted to reopen, it's one question now.
    – Jenayah
    Feb 25, 2019 at 0:10
  • 1
    Many years ago is too vague. To me that is 30-40 years ago. To a Millennial it might mean 10 years ago. Was it a Novel? or a short story?
    – NJohnny
    Feb 25, 2019 at 2:46
  • A more recent story like this is 'The Last Policeman' by Ben Winters. Hoaxers are getting people to hand over all their stuff for places in fake shelters before the comet strikes
    – Danny Mc G
    Feb 25, 2019 at 10:25


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.