My Lady Greensleeves

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Pohl, Frederik. "My Lady Green Sleeves." Galaxy Science Fiction February 1957. Coll. The Case Against Tomorrow. New York: Ballantine, 1957. Platinum Pohl. New York: Tor, 2005. Reprinted Human and Other Beings. Ed. Allen Degraeff. New York: Collier Books, 1963.

Of general interest as an allegory of race relations in the USA in the 1950s, and as dystopian sociological SF; relevant here for a high-tech near-future prison with a disciplinary block "called the Green Sleeves" from "the green straitjackets its inhabitants wore" (Platinum 85). When prisoners are transferred in (and other sensitive times) the guards turn "on the tanglefoot electronic fields that swamped the floor of the block corridor and of each individual cell. While the fields were on […] the prisoners […] could not move fast enough, against the electronic drag of the field, to do any harm" — from a guard's point of view. For a prisoner, "It was like walking through molasses" (86). So inside a highly regimented, bureaucratized, caste-stratified, and rigid society there is a prison, and within the prison there is a disciplinary block, within which there are cells, within which are people — the males, anyway (the high-caste female prisoner we see is treated better and not laced up) — in straitjackets and subject to constraint by high-tech electronics. So see for a powerful image of extreme constriction and confinement, with an electronic, electro-physiological-neurological twist

3. FICTION, RDE, 16/X/12; RDE, Title, 14Aug19