In search of a science fiction book I read as a teen...
December 2, 2012 11:56 AM   Subscribe

In search of a science fiction book I read as a teen...

Yet another one of these "I remember a few details..." sort of book searches, and this one has been driving me crazy! It's a book I read as a teen, so it may be a YA book or could just be something I picked up off the adult shelf. The key detail I remember is that political dissidents were placed in wheelchairs and potentially bedridden. At first the main character believes that they are subject to some sort of disease or ailment that affects people who aren't true believers, but eventually discovers that the government/someone in authority is doing surgeries on them as punishment for dissenting. I think there was also a section in which people were attempting alchemy. Any thoughts?
posted by rainbowbrite to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch. A classic.
posted by ovvl at 12:02 PM on December 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The bit about alchemy makes me think Camp Concentration as well, but the rest doesn't sound right. There was no surgery-as-punishment. The inmates were given a disease that turned them into geniuses, as I recall.

Does that sound familiar?
posted by brundlefly at 12:11 PM on December 2, 2012

Camp Concentration is pretty great though. You should pick up a copy either way.
posted by brundlefly at 12:12 PM on December 2, 2012

Response by poster: Camp Concentration doesn't sound right, although I'm definitely going to read it anyway - sounds like a great book!
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:23 PM on December 2, 2012

This is a bit of a long shot, but I Feel Like the Morning Star by Gregory Maguire? The alchemy piece doesn't fit, though.
posted by athenasbanquet at 5:54 PM on December 2, 2012

Best answer: How old were you as a teen? Because the description you give has me going "OMG Sheri Tepper's The Visitor!"
At that meeting, she also met Ayward's father, Arnole, who was in a Chair.

He was the first Chaired person Dismé had ever seen close up, and she was glad to note it was a probationary Chair and that he seemed to have all his body parts. Still, the fact that he was in a Chair at all meant he was suspected of having The Disease. Families with Diseased members were tainted, and Dismé wondered mightily at Rashel taking this risk.

[some time later…]

A day later, three men from the Bureau of Happiness and Enlightenment came to arrest Ayward Gazane on suspicion of having The Disease. A few days later Rashel called Dismé and Gayla into the study and told them that Ayward had been found guilty and sentenced to body-part donation and chairing.
posted by Lexica at 8:44 PM on December 2, 2012

Response by poster: Yep, The Visitor is definitely the answer...I read a ton of her books at one point and that passage sounds exactly right! Thank you!!
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:08 PM on December 2, 2012

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