293J: Domination of other by using weakness as a status symbol (Solved)

Science fiction short story where one planet maintains control of another by elevating some people to power on the subject planet. These elevated people have hereditary obsessive compulsive disorder which sets them apart from the common people and also disables them from actually leading their people who are then subjected to producing for the benefit of the alien overlords. The main character’s obsession is to follow a wood grain pattern. It takes her all day and she is exhausted from it. Somehow she meets a commoner and discovers that she might live a different life. I’ve tried very hard to find the story but no luck so far.

5 thoughts on “293J: Domination of other by using weakness as a status symbol (Solved)

  1. Amanda

    This sounds like an excerpt from the book Xenocide, one of Orson Scott Card’s books in the Ender series. Possibly some it was originally published as a short story?

  2. Amanda

    Dug around a little and Card did have a short story called “Gloriously Bright” about those characters. It was originally published in Analog, and was then used as various chapters of Xenocide.

  3. Liz

    I agree with Amanda; this sounds like the portion of Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide that was published in Analog as the short story “Gloriously Bright”.

  4. Erik Wilson

    I think Amanda is on target – parts of Xenocide are taken from a previously published Orson Scott Card short story entitled: “Gloriously Bright”

  5. Karen Tingstad

    Yahoo to my brilliant new friends! Thank you so much. I had mis-remembered some significant details but this is definitely the story. Do you have any advice as to how I can publicize this service? I would like to share the speedy results.


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