Lacey and His Friends
Lacey and His Friends (Baen Books, ISBN 99927-45-73-8) is a 1986 compilation of three stories by David Drake, about Jed Lacey, a ruthless individual, convicted for raping a former contemporary as an act of revenge for betraying him, turned detective by a computer that allocates people to work in areas where their "psych profile" indicates they will be effective. It includes other, less grim stories at the end. Lacey lives in a world of constant sousveillance and surveillance. Readers of 1984 will find this world eerily familiar, but with a democratic and capitalistic background that sets it up in contrast to the totalitarian world of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. People have chosen to live in this world rather than it being enforced from above by an unelected and unaccountable government. Ironically the government, in choosing to ignore its own laws, sets Lacey free from his former punishment in exchange for his silence about its own apparently illegal activities, in an inversion of the power relationships present in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Drake mentions on his website that the three stories concerning Lacey were the harshest he has ever written.
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