A Thousand Deaths (short story)

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"A Thousand Deaths"
Author Orson Scott Card
Country United States
Language English
Published in Omni
Publication type Periodical
Media type Print (Magazine)
Publication date 1978


"A Thousand Deaths" is a short story by Orson Scott Card. It appears in his short story collections Capitol and Maps in a Mirror. Card first published it in the December 1978 issue of Omni magazine.

Plot summary[edit]

In a future where the USSR has occupied America, Jerry Crove is found guilty of knowing about the planned assassination of a Russian high official and not reporting it to the authorities. After he is convicted of this crime in court Jerry is supposed to confess and apologize on TV. Instead of confessing Jerry gives a speech on freedom in America. As a result he is sentenced to be put to death and be brought back to life over and over until he apologizes convincingly. After he is put to death the first time he tries to do what they want but is unable to convince anyone of his sincerity. The Russians try killing him in a variety of gruesome ways but as time goes by he just becomes used to the pain of being killed. Eventually they are forced to give up and exile him to another planet.

Connection to the Worthing Saga[edit]

This story uses several plot elements also used in The Worthing Saga, such as the sleeping drug Somec and the taping of memories. The story can be considered a very early (in story timeline) prequel to The Worthing Saga. It takes place on Earth shortly after the events in the story "A Sleep and a Forgetting". In the story "And What Will We Do Tomorrow?" it is learned from Jerry Crove’s granddaughter that he founded the planet Crove which was renamed Capitol in the story "Skipping Stones".

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