What's this story called?
November 10, 2011 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find a story i read about 10 years ago. In a dystopian world, criminals are not locked up, but instead are marked and ordinary people are not allowed to interact with them.

It should be quite known, as i read it in a high school literature book. Which means this could've possibly been a chapter of a book, but it worked as a stand alone story.

From what i remember:
In the utopian/(dystopian) world the main character lived in, people who had committed crimes had a mark put on their forehead for a certain amount of time, during which others were not allowed to interact with them. This also happens to the main character. During the time of wearing the mark he's blanked by a doctor when he feels ill, he also at some point tries to contact other people, who ignore him. When he's not wearing the mark anymore, one of those who ignored him before tries to contact him and he ignores that person.

My memory might be a bit off, but does it ring any bells, anyone? I'd really like to read it again. I thought the title must have been something like the Invisibles, but no luck finding it.
posted by revikim to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "To See the Invisible Man" by Robert Silverberg (1963)? An adaptation of this story was also featured in an episode of the '80s Twilight Zone revival.
posted by kindall at 5:06 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's a synopsis of the Twilight Zone adaptation.
posted by kindall at 5:07 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I was about to suggest the same thing, its been published in a lot of anthologies so you could easiy have come across it.
posted by biffa at 5:11 PM on November 10, 2011

The Silverberg story is probably the one, but in case it's of any interest, I've also come across this idea in Melissa Scott's The Kindly Ones. It's a 1990 SF novel featuring "ghosts", the socially dead, whose foreheads bear a white mark.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 5:13 PM on November 10, 2011

Response by poster: !! Thank you guys! It's been on my mind for a long time :)
posted by revikim at 5:13 PM on November 10, 2011

Response by poster: (And i see i've totally misremember the ending, ha!)

I think i'll check The Kindly ones out as well, thanks ManyLeggedCreature :)
posted by revikim at 5:16 PM on November 10, 2011

"The Country of the Kind," written by Damon Knight in 1956, might also interest you. A blandly humane utopia deals with its only sociopath in almost exactly this manner. It's a great story that goes to unexpected places.
posted by drdanger at 7:15 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

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