I am trying to identify a short story originally published in the 1970s in a British horror anthology. It concerns the invention of a selective memory eraser, and the story concludes with everyone in Britain having been fitted with one of the helmet-like devices by the government, and watching the same episode of the same soap opera every night and eating the same meal, before having their memory of the day wiped so they can live it all over again. I feel sure that the anthology was published by New English Library.

  • 1
    Re-posted from SFF? Stack Exchange tends to discourage cross-posting identical questions on more than one site (unless they're somehow tailored to expect different types of answers on different sites, which isn't really possible with this). But I guess if this question gets answered on one site, you can delete it on the other one.
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 28 at 20:29
  • Nothing on this list?
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 28 at 20:40
  • I have deleted the question on SFF, since it's a horror story rather than an SFF story despite it's science fiction trappings and nobody has managed to answer it in two years.Yes - I've checked the TVTropes list, thanks.
    – Carfilhiot
    May 30 at 18:06

I think this might just be the story "S.F." by T. E. D. Klein, which appeared in the "1st Orbit Book Of Horror" in 1976. A brief synopsis, from the Vault of Evil forum:

This is the tale of how in the future we'll all have metal helmets welded to our heads that cause 'Selective Forgetfulness'. This means people only ever have to own one book and no new movies or works of art are created - you simply forget about what you just read and read it again! Imagine - you could discover Eat Them Alive over and over. At least it would give those of us who never learn an actual excuse.

  • Welcome to Literature! Nice answer. Could you provide a link to the story/where to get it?
    – bobble
    May 31 at 22:40
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    @bobble It doesn't seem to be available online, and Yammerhant has already provided the exact reference to the book where this story was published.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jun 1 at 4:54

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