Money was worthless, yet no man dared go broke. It was all pretty confusing to Mark until "Point-Plus-Pearlie" told him—YOU TOO CAN BE A MILLIONAIRE
ck eyes were soft. "You don't look happy, Mark."
"No." He held out his card.
"Hm." Her keen old eyes shot back to his. "Thirty-two hundred in the red. That's more than before. You've lost two hundred points this week, Mark."
"I know," he said dully.
"Here. Push me, Mark." She pulled the shawl around her and Mark started pushing the wheel-chair. "You're a nice boy," she said when they reached a quiet street. "You just can't adjust yourself to this modern world."
"I want a job," Mark said stubbornly. "Something to do besides--well, some kind of mark to aim at, I guess. This point business is just putting in time. I'm not creating anything. Even if I could fasten zippers on feather-beds, I'd be doing something worth while, because it'd be used. But this way of living is like digging a hole and then filling it in again. Why, you don't even dare to get into a fight. Somebody would collect a thousand points every time you hit him. The standard price of a black eye is three thousan
In this world, everything is provided for everyone by a faceless government. But because of a long tradition of lawsuits, people collect "points" from people who harm them to offset the debits they accrue from harming other people. As long as they have enough points to cover their debts, they're okay. But if you get too deeply in debt, or pile up too many points--well, no one really knows.
Some nice characters in a completely implausible story.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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