.....to be pulverized into nothing is the fate of Professor Burden, whose reading of lips has helped him write his reports for ten years as spy for the State. On the lookout for heresy, his visit, as a result of routine statistical sampling, to the Department of Internal Examinations leads to doubt as to his own conformity and through Lark, epitome of the inquisitor, he is to be purged and reformed and reclaimed as a dependable member. Burden's inherited beliefs in integrity, individuality and betterment are put to every test and, as a loser, he is confronted with every indignity- drugs, isolation, insult, the insane ward -- until finally he wills himself to give in. As Hughes and with a new personality superimposed he is a triumph for Lark -- until a chance question from a new friend reveals that the spark is still alive and that the ""new"" man carries the seeds of destruction to a controlled society. A projection from the future in which witch-hunting is still confounded by the immortality of personal opinion and where the benevolent state's lack of punitive methods is viler than past history.... Try for 1988 -- and a swing into SF.