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 '15 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. – dmckee Apr 6 '15 at 0:53
  • 1
    Voted to reopen, it's one question now. – Jenayah Feb 25 at 0:10
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    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 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 – DannyMcG Feb 25 at 10:25

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