Meritocracy by Michael Sherrin
In a city governed by test scores, Abel Allen is the most average citizen. He’s been stuck in the same job for years; he eats the same bland meal every night; and he’s not allowed to ask out the woman he loves, all because of his test scores.
After a co-worker is murdered, Abel discovers something that can replace studying: a pill that contains all the answers to all the tests. This answer key is rare and highly illegal. He must decide if breaking the law is a worthwhile price to no longer feeling average.
But something that valuable doesn’t stay secret for long. Abel’s boss, the mob, and the police all want the answer key, forcing Abel to decide who to trust and how to avoid getting caught. He discovers strengths and skills not found on his test results, and sets upon an adventure that puts the entire city under evaluation.
MERITOCRACY is a sci-fi noir with a dark sense of humor that questions how a standardized system can be fair to our individual qualities. Fans of bureaucratic nightmares will find much to love in this mash-up of 1984 meets Office Space.
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