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sillyputty
March 8th, 2011, 04:45 AM
Hi everyone,

I read this short story ages ago in some anthology or other and I don't remember the title, author, character names or any of the text. What I do remember is the plot, which I've spoiler tagged below. If anyone can help me find the title and author based on this knowledge, I would be very grateful. Thank you.

It's set in the future, and this man is trapped in a sort of exhibit wherein he is forced to act out the life of a family man (in the 50's/60's I think) and he has no free will to change the pattern of his day, which is repeated over and over again, while these people look in at him from some sort of glass window. However, something in the mechanism breaks and he escapes into some kind of futuristic fair or circus. He finds a taxi driven by a robot and tries to escape, but the taxi crashes for some reason and the protagonist is returned to his 50's/60's exhibit.

mylinar
March 8th, 2011, 09:02 AM
Well it has some of the hallmarks of a Phillip K. Dick story, but I can't match the specific details to any of his works that I have read.

expatrie
March 8th, 2011, 02:52 PM
I was going to suggest it was Sirens of Titan but the description didn't work. There is one where a character is on exhibit in an alien zoo, but I've only read the back since I'm saving my remaining Vonnegutia, not trying to blast through it.

Philip is also a plausible guess, and since it's a short story, there are more of those by Phil than Kurt.

--Brian.

Flatlander
March 8th, 2011, 05:14 PM
I think this is "Not For An Age" by Brian Aldiss - it fits the description. I've got it in the collection Space, Time And Nathaniel - not sure where else it was published though.

expatrie
March 10th, 2011, 09:10 PM
I'm starting to feel like some bizarre book world version of The Old Man and the Sea, except it's the story I can't identify.

Brian is an old man and it has been eighty-four days since he identified a story someone couldn't remember the author of....

Brian was an old man who surfed alone in the Internet and he had gone eighty-four days now without identifying a story...

Hey, I remembered the eighty-four correctly off the top! Score.

sillyputty
May 18th, 2011, 08:43 AM
Turns out, yes, it was "Not for an Age" by Brian W. Aldiss. Thanks for that Flatlander, I'll grab Space, Time and Nathaniel from Amazon if I need to give it another read.