Help ID a book - SF that I read in 82 and remember very little of
May 21, 2020 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Trying to ID an SF novel that I probably read around 82 or 83 and probably got from the Yongsan Army Library in Seoul, Korea. Very sure it was SF, and possibly dystopian or post-apocalyptic but not certain. All I really remember is one idea about people being paid for work based on a set of various factors.

I think it was near the end where it had the idea of a society (and I think it might have been a village or small city) where pay was determined by various factors like how necessary the job was to society but also things likes the hours worked.

So of course doctors got paid more because they heal people but people who worked at night got paid more for having weird hours. I'm sure there were more examples but they didn't stick.

That's not much to go on so Google hasn't been useful. Hopefully someone read the book and will remember more. In the mean time I'm looking over lists of books from the 70s/80s and hoping a brain cell will fire when I see a cover or read a description.
posted by Awfki to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Could it be Riders of the Purple Wage?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:42 AM on May 21, 2020

It sounds like John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider.
posted by monotreme at 9:43 AM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Could it be Walden Two by B.F. Skinner, the labor credit system? A New York Times article mentions
he work and property are shared by all, through a system of “labor credits”: Each member of the community is obligated to the equivalent of four hours' work in each day. Pleasant work is discounted somewhat, odious tasks “pay” better.
posted by readinghippo at 9:46 AM on May 21, 2020

monotreme has it; Shockwave Rider by John Brunner. That passage is pretty close to the end.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:48 PM on May 21, 2020

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted had the wirr (work hour) as currency, but that was ‘87.
posted by Kreiger at 2:19 PM on May 21, 2020

Oops, I wandered off to work and forgot to check back at lunch. Nothing there rings a definite bell although Shockwave Rider might be it. Wikipedia talks about a disaster in California and the nuclear strike seemed vaguely familiar as well.

Rider's of the Purple Wage doesn't seem familiar although I did read another Farmer book at about that time.

I loved the Stainless Steel Rat series but never did read Gets Drafted.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by Awfki at 2:50 PM on May 21, 2020

Finally "finished" Shockwave Rider (by skipping most of it) and yep, that bit it was right near the end.

Thank you!
posted by Awfki at 2:07 PM on September 9, 2020

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