Sweet Justice

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Sweet Justice was a short story by Neil Gaiman published in the Judge Dredd Annual 1988. Set in the world of Judge Dredd, Judge Hershey from Mega-City One travels to Brit-Cit following a man named Clute, a suspect connected to a string of deaths among sugar addicts. Of course, things are not all as they seem. The story was originally illustrated by Lee Baulch.

The story contains many references to well known people. The sugar dealer Clute is most likely named after John Clute. City blocks are named after Stephen King, Tony Hancock and Ennio Morricone. The Growling Stones with Mig Yeagger is an obvious reference to the Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger. Also mentioned are Margaret Thatcher, Ted Sturgeon, and a bearded Judge Pratchett.

Sweet Justice has recently been collected, in its original, unrevised form, in an ebook-only edition, Sweet Justice and Other Tales.

This story was reprinted once, in the Judge Dredd 1995 Yearbook, this time illustrated by Kevin Cullen, where it appeared with a number of revisions. Although not mentioned on the pages where it is printed, in the table of contents Allison Potter is listed as a co-writer, and the description says "updated to 2116." While many details in the original story would need tweaking to fit into continuity eight years after it originally appeared, numerous other changes, both major and minor, were worked in. Large chunks of the story disappeared, including all of Judge Pratchett's appearance. Below is a survey of the differences between the two versions of the story. Although there are spoilers, the climax and final twist of the story were not included in the comparison.

  • The original version had chapter titles. Each of the over sized letters in the reprint marks the beginning of a new chapter.
  • All occurences of italics taken out

Chapter: The Meet

  • Second sentence, "late on Saturday afternoon" dropped.
  • All occurrences of "old man" changed to "Old Man"
  • "Table-knife" changed to "laser-knife"
  • Changed "...until they scuttled, on tiny insect legs, out of the light, into the old man's hair" to "...until they scuttled, on tiny insect legs, into the Old Man's hair."
  • Changed "...and she didn't like it at all" to "...and she didn't like it at all - not one bit."

Chapter: Brit-Cit Bound

  • Changed "...which made her even more irritable" to "which simply made her even more irritable."
  • "It was almost midnight when Chief Judge Silver called her in to his office. "I've spoken to the Brit-Cit chief judge, and the International Justice Council..." changed to "It was almost midnight when Chief Judge McGruder called her in. "We've spoken to Brit-Cit's Chief Judge and Interdep-"
  • "There were times when the thought of the International Judge Council, the cadre of judges that administered matters of jurisdiction and international law, would have caused her a second of apprehension." changed to "Interdep was an international justice cadre, responsible for exchanging information, techniques, and tip-offs. In reality it was a shadowy organization of senior Judges from around the world who seemed to operate with total autonomy. It was rumored that among interdep's more dubious activities were running teams of independent assassins known as Culling Crews, although anyone who had ever tried to prove this seemed to suffer from an unfortunate 'accident'. The thought of talking to Interdep would have given Hershey a second of apprehension in the past."
  • "Perp" changed to "punk"
  • [Nowhere he can hide]"...I can't find him" changed to "that I can't find him"
  • Dropped a set of ellipses at the end of a sentence
  • "Hershey looked up at Silver" changed to "Hershey looked to McGruder"
  • "It was agreed in principle" changed to "Trip was agreed in principle"
  • "She was out of the room before he finished the sentence" changed to "Hershey was out of the room before the Chief Judge had finished the sentence."

Chapter: Armour Piercing Look

  • "Three hours later, Hershey saw the Silver Lions of Brit-Cit for the first time, as they loomed out of the neon night." changed to "Several hours later, Hershey saw the Silver Lions of Brit-Cit ahead as the loomed out of the neon night in the Atlantic Tunnel."
  • Judge Armour changed to Judge Fennell
  • Brit-Cit changed to Brit-Cit Territory
  • "...follow me to Scotland Yard." "Scotland... That's North Brit-Cit, right?" "Uh, right. But Scotland Yard's the Justice Headquarters in South-East Brit-Cit" changed to "...follow me to the New Old Bailey." "The What?" "Our Justice Department headquarters."
  • "She flipped the bike onto remote, and followed the British Judge down the narrow Brit-Cit roads. Six lane highways. Hardly room to move." changed to "She put the bike onto auto and followed the British Judge down the Brit-Cit skedways, amazed at how thin they were. How did traffic cope in such conditions? Six lane highways - barely room to move!"
  • "Never been to Brit-Cit before, huh?" change to "Been to Brit-Cit before?" and a negative response "no" turned to "'Once' replied Hershey, in a tone that indicated once was more than enough.
  • "Well, I've never been to Mega-City, either, so I suppose we're equal. I did a shift on the Atlantis plex, though." changed to "I've never been to Mega-City One yet. I did some shifts on the joint jurisdiction tunnel border, at Atlantis."
  • "Hershey sighed" changed to "Sighed Hershey"
  • "She was only three hours from home; you would have thought they could have spoken English" changed to "Only hours from home; you would have thought they could speak English!"
  • An instance of the name "Armour" remains in the revision accidentally unchanged
  • Since Scotland Yard was changed to New Old Bailey, site description changed as well
  • "She climbed off her bike" changed to "She climbed off her bike and strode up the stairs to the waiting Fennell"
  • "Armour's jaw dropped. He grinned." combined into one sentence with an 'and'
  • "Hershey had perfected a number of stares over the years for dealing with people who attempted to treat her as anything other than a Judge" change to "Hershey had perfected a number of stares over the years on the streets, for dealing with anyone who tried to treat her as anything other than a Judge."
  • "...To the chill, through to the artic" changed to "up to chilling, through to a full arctic."
  • "She walked in to the British Hall Of Justice, and the Brit-Cit Judge follwed her in" changed to "Hershey walked into the New Old Bailey, Fennell following behind."
  • Elevator changed to turbo-lift
  • Changed "thing" to "thing"
  • "She shook her head. 'Dredd.' 'Oh.'" changed to "'Dredd.' 'Oh.' Fennell fell silent again."
  • "The Brit-Cit Chief Judge, whose Brit Territories' flag name-badge told Hershey his name was Jones, was sitting in a large easy chair. He looked up as Hershey came in." changed to "Brit-Cit Chief Judge Jones was sitting in a large easy chair when Hershey enetered his office. He looked up and..." followed by the final sentence of the original's paragraph
  • "Said Judge Jones" changed to "Said Jones"
  • "Outside Judges coming in, like." dropped from revised
  • "I'm looking for Clute." changed to "You know who I'm looking for - Clute."
  • ID changed to i.d.'d
  • Zoom tube changed to Zoom
  • "pure crystals" changed to "pure white"
  • "But it's deadly. Probably alien." changed to "But it's deadly, and probably alien."
  • "I want him brought back to Mega-City One, and I want the source - whatever it is - of this stuff put out of action for good. On that basis, I need the full co-operation of the Brit-Cit Judges." changed to "I want to take him back to Mega-City One and I want his source - whatever it is - put out of action for good. On that basis I need your full co-operation."
  • "Chief Judge Jones got up, revealing himself as quite overweight, something that Hershey had never seen in a Judge before. He stared out of the window. The lights of Brit-Cit flickered and twinkled beneath them." changed to "Jones got up and walked to a large window, staring out at the twinkling lights of Brit-Cit."
  • "will" changed to "will"
  • "he said" changed to "he said finally"
  • "You do, and you don't" changed to "You do and you don't"
  • "But you're a Mega-City One Judge. And this is Brit-Cit" combined into one sentence
  • "You two can work together on this case. You cn use Brit-Cit Justice Department facilities." changed to "You can work together, use Brit-Cit facilities."
  • "But" changed to "But"
  • "...damaging the property and putting the wind up our citizens" changed to "upsetting our citizens"
  • "'No,' said Hershey. 'I can see that I'm not.'" changed to "'I can see that,' said Hershey."
  • "'Right then,' said Chief Judge Jones. 'That's all that needs to be said then Good Luck.' (paragraph) 'Just remember. We've got a saying over here. Softly softly catchee perp. Right, then. Good morning.'" changed to "'Right then. That's all that needs to be said. Good luck. Just remember,' added Jones, [beginning quote missing] we've got a saying over here: Softly softly catchee perp. Good morning, Judge Hershey.'"

Chapter: TV Nasties

  • "then" changed to "upon release"
  • "Short" dropped from description of Clute
  • "Severian" changed to "Severlan" (one wonders if a printout was blurry)
  • "Just" dropped in "just one of..."
  • "...just enough to stay in circulation" changed to "just enough to stay out of the cubes" as well as adding a paragraph indentation after that sentence
  • "No record of sugar dealing until six weeks back, when he had left his job handling transit passengers at the Space Port, abandoned his apartment, and gone underground. [paragraph] There were no leades to his current whereabouts." changed to "No record of any more sugar dealing until six weeks before, when he quit his job handling transit passengers at the Brit-Cit Space Port, abandoned his con-apt and went underground. There were no leads to his current whereabouts."
  • "Hershey sat in her hotel room, and reviewed the files again and again, hoping to pry some clue from Clute's shifty little face, from the list of dates and places. No go. She paced the room. Flipped on her communicator." changed to "Hershey flung the case files to the other side of her hotel room and sat in a quiet fury of frustration. After several moments' seething, she paged Fennell on his radio com."
  • In a conversation with her fellow judge, the following changes: Dropped the Judge's name in the opening line; "'Fraid" changed to "Afraid"; added "Got some people in plainclothes twisting a few arms for info"; added "heavily" to a sigh; "sit around" changed to "sit here"; dropped "Really," and "Why couldn't the man speak English?"; added "the tri-D"
  • A large section of Hershey flipping channels deleted.
  • "'Be a good Brit-Citizen,' a recorded message implored her. 'Please destroy your television set now. Support local obsolesence.'" changed to "A soothing voice issued from the deactivated viewer: 'Please support local industry through enforced obsolescence. Destroy your tri-D unit NOW!'"
  • "Hershey had never destroyed public property in her life. She walked to the far side of the hotel room, took out her lawgiver, and fired at the TV set." changed to "Hershey raised an eyebrow, thought for a moment, then gave the viewer a quick burst of armour-piercing from her Lawgiver. It exploded with a satisfying blaze of pyrotechnics."
  • Her communicator crackled" changed to "Her radio-com burst into life."
  • "I thought I heard a shot" changed to "sounded like gunfire"
  • "Oh gosh" changed to "Huh"
  • "One of our judges has a lead. Meet you downstairs." changed to "one of our plainclothes has a lead. Meet you in the lobby."
  • New version ends chapter here with a new sentence, puts the rest of the original chapter at the beginning of the next section. All of the introduction of the judges, Judge Pratchett is changed to Judge Armitage, at this point differs. Nearly all text until the witness speaks is different
  • "'All I know,' squealed the terrified woman, "is that Clute's been hanging around Speaker's Corner. Near the Legalize Sugar stand." changed to "All I know is that Clute's been hanging round Ennio Morricone Block, in the Limehoue district.'"
  • "Have you taken any yet?" changed to "You used it yet?" followed by several lines of no overlap til "saving it for a cup of tea"
  • "you see" changed to "y'know what I mean"
  • "'Oh dear, oh dear,' said Judge Pratchett, cheerfully. "Well well well, teas as well, is it? You're a regular little den of iniquity, my girl'" changed to "'Dear oh dear oh dear,' chided Armitage cheerfully. 'Tea as well. No end to your vices, is there?"
  • Rest of chapter has no overlap in text

Chapter: Rocks In Concert

  • This chapter does not exist in the revision. It involves Armour and Hershey going to Speaker's Corner, a free speech zone, where they chase and capture Clute, who then tells them the suguar is stored in a basement in Ennio Morricone block with an eyeprint lock

Chapter: The White Stuff

  • All different with slight similarities until inside the building.
  • "The smell was so strong it almost knocked her out." changed to "Inside the sweet, sickly smell of sugar was so strong it nearly knocked Hershey out."
  • The rest of the chapter has the same sort of changes as the rest of the story, including a reference to honey bees in the the original version excised from the revised story. The revision ends with the last line of this chapter.

Chapter: Epilogue

  • Deleted entirely from revision
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