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* TheDreadedToiletDuty: The plot is centered around a person whose duty is to manipulate the controls of the human waste recycling machinery. He isn't actually in contact with the sewage, but the mere association is enough to make him an untouchable in the colony's FantasticCasteSystem. The person is a member of a family which is raised from birth for that duty, and no local will perform that job for anything.

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This story was first published in ''Magazine/ScienceFictionStories'' (January 1957 issue), by Creator/IsaacAsimov. The original title was "Male Strikebreaker", but Dr Asimov [[OrwellianRetcon removed the gendered identifier]] when publishing the story for his collection.

Steven Lamorak, [[NaiveNewcomer a sociologist from Earth]], is visiting [[PunnyName Elsevere]], a planetoid [[UsefulNotes/DwarfPlanets only a few hundred miles in diameter]]. He is guided by Councillor Elvis Blei, representing Elsevere's government. Blei is quite proud when showing how efficient the world is, breaking [[TwoDSpace normal conventions of space]] by creating multiple layers inside the rock, operating completely self-sufficiently, and establishing [[FantasticCasteSystem a niche for everyone who lives there]].

It doesn't take long before Lamorak to realize that Elsevere is struggling with a social crisis; the family responsible for sanitation/waste-reclamation is objecting to their niche, and [[StrikeEpisode goes on strike]]. He attempts to negotiate on Elsevere's behalf, but it quickly fails. Ragusnik is willing to let the waste pile up, risking the entire CityPlanet to disease and death.

"Strikebreaker" was republished several times; ''[[Literature/SeventeenXInfinity 17 X Infinity]]'' (1963), ''{{Magazine/Galassia}}'' (issue #77, May 1967), ''Literature/NightfallAndOtherStories'' (1969), ''{{Magazine/Urania}}'' (issue #570, July 1971 & issue #1442, June 2002), ''Literature/AnthropologyThroughScienceFiction'' (1974), ''Literature/BestScienceFictionOfIsaacAsimov'' (1986), ''Literature/RobotDreamsCollection'' (1986), ''Literature/IsaacAsimovPresentsTheGreatScienceFictionStoriesVolume191957'' (1989), ''Literature/IsaacAsimovTheCompleteStories, Volume 1'' (1990), and ''Literature/TheSFWAGrandMasters, Volume Two'' (2000).
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!!"Strikebreaker" contains examples of:
* TwoDSpace: The setting, [[PunnyName Elsevere]], is a [[UsefulNotes/DwarfPlanets planetoid]] only a few hundred miles in diameter. The total surface area is estimated to match three-quarters of New York state. However, they build levels into the rock, and they could easily make fifty-six million square miles of usable area, one that is equal to the total land area of Earth. Their visitor from Earth is amazed at this example of lateral thinking.
-->Lamorak said, "Good Lord," and stared blankly for a moment. "Yes, of course you're right. Strange I never thought of it that way. But then, Elsevere is the only thoroughly exploited planetoid world in the Galaxy; the rest of us simply can't get away from thinking of two-dimensional surfaces, as you pointed out. Well, I'm more than ever glad that your Council has been so cooperative as to give me a free hand in this investigation of mine."
* ArtificialGravity: Elsevere, a CityPlanet inside of a [[UsefulNotes/DwarfPlanets planetoid]], uses pseudogravity engines to create Earth-normal weight as they build into the rock.
* CityPlanet: This setting is [[UsefulNotes/DwarfPlanets a planetoid with over a hundred miles in diameter]], recently colonized. Their fifty thousand population attempts to be fully self-sufficient, because there is no habitable planet in this system. The story is centered around a supply problem; [[FantasticCasteSystem the man responsible for recycling the waste]] decides to [[StrikeEpisode go on a strike]].
* FantasticCasteSystem: The people of [[PunnyNAme Elsevere]] have a complex caste system, where each Elseverian has a social niche to fulfill. We only see three categories of people; Elsevarians, Outworlders, and Ragusniks. Mikhail Ragusnik was one of the founding members of Elsevere, and they handle the sanitation machines, which turn [[CityPlanet the world]]'s waste into fertilizer and water. The current Ragusnik, Igor, tries to [[StrikeEpisode go on strike]], but an Outworlder volunteers to learn the job, [[TheNamesake breaking the strike]]. Upon leaving the Ragusnik estate, the Outworlder learns [[ProtocolPeril they've been exiled]]; they're now a permanent member of the Ragusnik caste.
-->"Each individual Elseverian fits into a comfortable niche. The appearance of a stranger without fixed caste is unsettling."
* KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect: The Ragusnik family, who operate the sanitation machines for their entire planetoid, are [[FantasticCasteSystem treated as pariahs]]. Their job is obviously vital; when the head Ragusnik [[StrikeEpisode goes on strike]], demanding to be accepted as a part of normal society, the society nearly collapses, until a visiting Outworlder decides to learn how to be a Ragusnik themselves.
* NaiveNewcomer: Steven Lamorak, a sociologist from Earth, is visiting [[PunnyName Elsevere]] to learn about their customs and FantasticCasteSystem because nowhere else in the galaxy are people put into niches from birth. Because he doesn't have the same cultural mores that they do, he finds it easy to volunteer to operate the sanitation machines of the entire CityPlanet when the family assigned to that work [[StrikeEpisode goes on strike]].
* ProtocolPeril: The story's setting is an airless planetoid, named [[PunnyName Elsevere]]. The residents must dig into the rock and recycle everything, including human waste. A visitor from Earth volunteers to operate the machinery that recycles their waste when [[FantasticCasteSystem Ragusnik]] decides to [[StrikeEpisode go on strike]]. To the visitor's surprise, he finds himself exiled from the planetoid; he has joined the Ragusnik caste and is no longer welcome in normal society.
-->Obviously, he had himself become a Ragusnik. He had handled the controls that in turn had handled the wastes; he was ostracized. He was a corpse-handler, a swineherd, an inside man at the skonk works.
* PunnyName: The protagonist is from Earth, having travelled to Elsevere (else'''wh'''ere).
* ShoutOut: When comparing different caste systems to the FantasticCasteSystem of Elsevere, Lamorak recalls Creator/AlCapp's ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'', and their "inside man at the skonk works."
* StrikeEpisode: The story's setting is an airless planetoid, named [[PunnyName Elsevere]]. The residents must dig into the rock and recycle everything, including human waste. Naturally someone has to operate the machinery that recycles the waste and that job falls upon the Ragusnik family. Their family is stigmatized by everybody and [[FantasticCasteSystem made untouchable]]. The current Ragusnik tries to go on strike, to break the caste system that makes the rest of the world refuse to even talk with him.
* TypeCaste: Ragusnik reminds the sociologist Lamorak of the Untouchables in ancient India. This compares the story's FantasticCasteSystem to the Dalit castes. Both the Dalit and the Ragusnik perform sanitation servies for their society.
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