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Ser Scot A Ellison

Help recalling old short story

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This is coming third hand from a friend of my wife.  

Does anyone know of a short story written no earlier than 25 years ago about people living underground who could only communicate with each other electronically?  

I already suggested “Wool” by Hugh Howey, she said that is too recent.  I also already said that this was a really vague description of a not terribly unusual trope in Spec Fiction.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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5 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Thank you.  That seems to be it.  I’m impressed I thought the description was too vague to get an answer.

I am impressed too. I was wracking my brain trying to remember a story like that from the 40's through the 60's.

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Thank you both! I found it while looking for something else (naturally enough :) ) and was astonished at Forster's prescience, at a time when wireless telegraphy and short-wave radio were only just coming into use. There's not enough wow! to cover it!

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Now it's my turn, if I may use Ser Scot's thread for the purpose. Sometime back between the late 70s and the early 90s, I read a mass-market paperback anthology of military science fiction. I remember blue-hued cover art. Included in this volume was a story which the editor confessed was not, by strict definition, science-fictional, but it was of such high quality that he could not in good conscience leave it out. The title took the form of "The [Adjective] [Noun-singular]." (Think The Maltese Falcon.)

The story concerns a soldier taken prisoner by the enemy and broken under interrogation. Once released and returned to his station, he is reassigned as aide to a general. He bears a cord insignia of some sort designating his new status. He's lost his expected rank and all respect from his fellow soldiers, but nevertheless does his best to fulfill his duties. The crux of the story is "what happens next?"

I've put some effort into searching for this story, but no such luck. Does this ring any bells for anyone? Thanking you in advance!

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8 hours ago, kairparavel said:

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll look through the listings on isfdb and see if I can spot it. The book of short fiction in which I found the story was (by my hazy recollection) a stand-alone and not part of a series, but never say never. :)

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On 6/9/2019 at 11:46 AM, Gendelsdottir said:

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster. First published in 1909.

Thanks for the link! That's a very good story at least as good as anything by HG Wells and a great caveat emptor to all fans of social media, AI, Trans/Posthumanism etc., I wonder that it does not seem to be better known.

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