Cop for a Day by Chrome Oxide

Published: 2013 in Writers of the Future Volume 29, edited by Dave Wolverton

Genre: science fiction

Length: 15 pages

Setting: a big city, some time in the future

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Mark Rollins is a convicted criminal. His crime was running a business (not properly documented) repairing old electronics (hurting the economy by not promoting new production). He’s selected to work for the Amalgamated Security Services, which is basically a legal shakedown agency. He uses his electronic skills to reactivate the brain of his smart car, and eventually goes off to restart his illegal activities.

Final thoughts: While the story started out amusing, it got tired quickly. All the acronyms stood for some negative word (for example, people living in the Simple Living Urban Modules were fed Government Regulated Uniform Edible Lumps), and I enjoyed substituting the acronyms for the titles. However, only the narrator could speak in complete sentences. All the government employees were so dumb they couldn’t even read anymore. The whole government seemed to be built around asset reclaiming (steal from the rich for the government) and all social contracts were broken. I don’t even see how such a society would function. By the end, I was just annoyed.

Title comes from: Mark gets a job to be a cop for a day.

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