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In The Problem Pit

Frederick Pohl

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#1 OFFLINE   waawo



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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:02 PM

David, recently separated and still hurting, is thrown into the problem pit - a state mandated forum for bringing volunteers, conscripts and social scientists together in order to identify and solve the problems ailing society. The sixteen individuals are locked away in a deep cave in Puerto Rico with no access to the outside world, daylight, or any way of knowing what time of day it is; or even how long they have been there. They know they will be released when their problem solving work reaches a certain "score"; what that score is, and how it is derived, they are not told. There are no rules: eat when you like, sleep when you like, work where and how you like. Just be certain to work on problems...or look for a way out.

This short novel seems on the face of it to be describing a dystopian world, in which citizens are just cogs in a giant machine, forced to do the state's bidding. But the author subverts that slightly with the notion that as well as problem solving, therapy for the participants is also a key goal of the problem pit. Unfortunately, this isn't developed fully and I think this story would bear a much longer novel. And I can't believe this hasn't been filmed.
2013 Booklist -- 2014 Booklist -- Hm, that looks interesting

"You all laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same" - John Davis

"No matter how far down the wrong road you've gone - turn back" - Mexican proverb

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