In olden days, one of the worst punishments society could exact upon you was outlawing. It meant you were literally outside the law. You had no privileges, no protections, no rights. Anyone could just up and kill you without consequence. Being declared no-stat was a lot like that. Without stat, Sherman’s family would lose everything. Their house. The right to wear current fashions. To see the latest movies. To vote. And I could lose stat of my own just by being friends with a no-stat person.
Back in October Escape Pod published a reading of Greg van Eekhout‘s “On the Fringes of the Fractal“, a science fiction reflection of reputation economy, meritocracy and capitalism. It’s a weird, fun and sad short story that’s worth experiencing with the great narration by Tina Connolly. It might not be easy to spot that it was inspired by the music of Rush, but that’s an extra treat.