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The only nonscientist among the passengers of the Triple G. Over a century earlier, an attempt to colonize Junior had failed. After nearly two years on the planet, all 1, colonists had died for reasons unknown. The scientists of the Triple G. For the first two weeks after landing, everyone remains aboard while the scientists take readings. After Rodriguez, the expedition's microbiologist, declares that the local life forms are non-infectious, a handful of scientists, plus Annuncio, travel to the original site of the colony.

Relations between the scientists and Annuncio deteriorate rapidly. The Mnemonics are loners by nature, and their training makes them even more so. The scientists, on the other hand, as specialists, tend to be contemptuous of a professional generalist like Annuncio. When Annuncio asks Rodriguez to explain how he came to a conclusion, the microbiologist regards the request as an affront to his professional reputation, and refuses to answer. The other scientists manage to offend Annuncio in various ways.

When Annuncio finally realizes that the abnormally high concentration of beryllium in the soil and plants of Junior was what killed the colonists, and that they all have to leave immediately, he does not trust the scientists to deal with it. He returns to the ship and persuades the crew to mutiny and take the ship off from the planet.

The captain is barely able to convince the crew to stop at the colony site to pick up the scientists. When Annuncio is put on trial for fomenting the mutiny, he explains his actions, is acquitted, and the ship returns to the Earth to seek medical treatment for its crew for beryllium poisoning. The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories. One of Isaac Asimov's SF masterpieces, this stand-alone novel is a monument of the flowering of SF in the twentieth century.

It is widely regarded as Asimov's single best SF novel. Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan's job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs.

Unfortunately, they are caught. Harlan's punishment? His next assignment: Kill the woman he loves before the paradox they have created results in the destruction of Eternity. Only a few know the terrifying truth--an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth--but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy--but who will believe? These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival. The Martian Way and Other Stories.

This collection of four famous science fiction tales masterfully exemplifies author Isaac Asimov's ability to create quickly a believable human milieu in the midst of alien circumstances. Each of the long stores also shows his considerable skill in fully fleshing out a speculative scientific or social possibility. Isaac Asimov George R. Martin Martin H. The Science Fictional Solar System. Greenberg Charles G. Waugh Isaac Asimov. The Winds of Change and Other Stories.

Asimov at his best! A story salute featuring a levitating professor, alien traders bringing something to sell, a black hole hurtling toward Earth, the universe being created and many other matters of great import! Tomorrow's Children: eighteen haunting tales of children in time to come, whne the fantastic has become the commonplace, when witchcraft is a science and creatures from alien planets live next door. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific authors of our time. When he died in at the age of seventy-two, he had published more than books in nearly every category of fiction and nonfiction.

Asimov was a prodigious correspondent as well as a prolific author. During his professional career he received more than one hundred thousand letters, over ninety thousand of which he answered. For Asimov's younger brother, veteran newspaperman Stanley Asimov, the creation of Yours, Isaac Asimov was truly a labor of love. Completed before Stanley's death in August , the book is made up of excerpts from one thousand never-before-published letters, each handpicked by Stanley for inclusion in this volume.

Arranged by subject and accompanied by Stanley's short, insightful introductions, here are letters to statesmen and scientists, actors and authors, as well as to children, housewives, aspiring writers, and fans the world over. The letters are warm, engaging, reasoned, and occasionally impassioned. Through them all Isaac Asimov's legendary genius, wit, and charm shine through.

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And so we have Yours, Isaac Asimov: A Lifetime of Letters , an intimate glimpse into the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of a great writer and thinker of the modern age. As Stanley Asimov advised, "Read the letters carefully. One of them may have been written to you. Ace Double D-Series : Book Roger Dee Isaac Asimov. While he was shipwrecked on a distant Jovian moon, with only a cryptic monster for a companion, Paul Shannon had longed for the laughter and friendship of men and women. Men's ambitions, women's love, and the eternal clash of wills, had all given way to the passive docility of stunned beasts.

A new cult, born in the stars, was sweeping the world, promising glory but bringing only complete mental submission. And Shannon was torn between unwilling belief and panicky horror as he realized that he himself held the only key to that cosmic riddle. The Earth had been made hopelessly radioactive and useless by atomic warfare, but young Biron Farrill, a student in the University of Earth, nevertheless found himself involved in a struggle that was worse because of the mystery in it. His father, on another planet, had been murdered and the young man himself was marked for violent death.

The only certainty was that his pursuers, who identities were unknown to him, were agents of would-be conquerors of everything and everybody in the galaxy. But young Farrill had to find out why he and his father had been marked for destruction. Poul Anderson Isaac Asimov. Title variant of Isaac Asimov's novel Foundation Space explorers returning to an unrecognizable Earth after five millennia away find themselves caught up in a deadly political power game on a planet racing toward intergalactic war.

Baker's Dozen: 13 Short Fantasy Novels. Baker's Dozen. Before the Golden Age : Book 1. Asimov combines many of his science fiction favorites from the thirties with his personal reflections on his early years, interests, and influences. Before the Golden Age : Book 2. Before the Golden Age : Book 3. Daneel Olivaw : Book 1. A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.

Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worst of all was that the "R" stood for robot--and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!

Daneel Olivaw : Book 2. A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants.

To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on.

Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots - unthinkable under the laws of Robotics - or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence! Daneel Olivaw : Book 3. A puzzling case of roboticide sends New York Detective Elijah Baley on an intense search for a murderer.

Armed with his own instincts, his quirky logic, and the immutable Three Laws of Robotics, Baley is determined to solve the case. But can anything prepare a simple Earthman for the psychological complexities of a world where a beautiful woman can easily have fallen in love with an all-too-human robot?

Daneel Olivaw : Book 4. Long after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Earthman Elijah Baley, Keldon Amadiro embarked on a plan to destroy planet Earth. But even after his death, Baley's vision continued to guide his robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, who had the wisdom of a great man behind him and an indestructable will to win Fantastic Voyage : Book 1.

Four men and a woman are reduced to a microscopic fraction of their original size, sent in a miniaturized atomic sub through a dying man's carotid artery to destroy a blood clot in his brain. If they fail, the entire world will be doomed. Fantastic Voyage : Book 2. Deep within Russia, would-renowned scientist Pyotor Shapirov lies in a coma. Locked within his brain rests the key to the greatest scientific advance in the world's history.

Only one scientist can hope to locate this secret—Dr. Albert Jonas Morrison, an American. Morrison's mission: to be miniaturized to molecular size along with a team of four Soviet scientists, travel in a specially designed submarine to the dying Shapirov's brain, and tap the secrets held there. Morrison and his companions have only twelve hours to accomplish their task—in the face of unexpected terrors and with their own lives hanging precariously in the balance.

With his phenomenal two-million-copy bestseller Fantastic Voyage, Isaac Asimov took the world on its first amazing journey into the human body.

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Now, twenty year later, after deeper exploration into one of the most fascinating areas of science, Dr. Asimov delivers an all-new thriller that transports you to the far reaches of inner space. Electrifying, astonishing, and remarkably realistic, this new novel is certain to become a science fiction classic. Isaac Asimov Martin H. Stories deal with a magician's quest, a man who changes into an elephant, sorcerers, werewolves, storytellers, a magical necklace, ancient monsters revived by a spell, a daring rescue, and a mysterious wall Short stories by authors such as Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and Andre Norton depict the strange effects of curses and magic spells Stories tell of a magical umbrella, a newspaper that predicts the future, a devil's advocate, a terrible curse, a witch, a wizard, nightmares, and a powerful genie A collection of fantasy stories dealing with black magic, temptation, and demonic enchantment includes works by Arthur C.

A collection of fantastic tales from some of the world's finest science fiction writers brings to life a lost world that still holds out the promise of magical secrets or fatal traps for the curious or unwary Fourteen chilling tales--including Charles L. Tales of dark magic, sinister spells, deadly vengeance, and terrifying powers highlight a collection featuring the work of Wilkie Collins, Robert Bloch, Arthur C. Clarke, and other authors Stories deal with the rise and fall, government, exploration missions, incorporation, and defense of interstellar empires.

The Science Fictional Olympics. Edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Sci-fi anthology includes stories by Asimov, George R. Martin, L. Alan Dean Foster and others. Clarke, Gregory Benford, and other masters of the science fiction genre explore the realm of comets. A collection of science fiction tales of mystery, crime, and detection features works by Stephen R.

Sprague de Camp, and Bertram Chandler. Tells the stories of mental parasites, extraterrestrial creatures, clones, monstrous aliens, invaders, and colonists. Dick, and others--explore the theme of an alien invasion of Earth. Lucky Starr : Book 1. Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids. Lucky Starr : Book 2. A year has passed since the events in David Starr, Space Ranger. In that time the spaceship TSS Waltham Zachary has been taken and gutted by pirates based in the asteroid belt, and David "Lucky" Starr has come up with a plan to deal with them. Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus.

Lucky Starr : Book 3. In the sprawling spheres far below the boundless seas of the planet, the earthmen had established an incredible civilization. But now, a series of seemingly trivial accidents threatened to obliterate all that the men had created. It was Lucky's job, as a representative of the powerful Council of Science, to find the evil and root it out. Yet by the time he discovered the insidious force which preyed on the minds of men, the only enemy he could hope to destroy.

Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury. Lucky Starr : Book 4. Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter. Lucky Starr : Book 5. Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn. Lucky Starr : Book 6. The Council has been sweeping up the Sirian spy ring uncovered by Starr in the Jovian system, but the head of the ring, Jack Dorrance, has eluded capture and escaped from Earth in his one-man spaceship, The Net of Space.

A fleet led by Councilman Ben Wessilewsky is in hot pursuit, but there is only one ship that can catch up with Dorrance, and that is Starr's own Shooting Starr. Nebula Awards : Book 8. Isaac Asimov Robert Silverberg. The story came about when, in , Marty Greenberg suggested Asimov find someone who would take his forty-seven year old short story, "Nightfall", and - keeping the story essentially as written - add a detailed beginning and a detailed ending to it.

As Asimov relates in the Robert Silverberg chapter of his autobiography, " Eventually, I received the extended Nightfall manuscript from Bob [Silverberg] Bob did a wonderful job and I could almost believe I had written the whole thing myself. He remained absolutely faithful to the original story and I had very little to argue with.

These two renowned writers have invented a world not unlike our own--a world on the edge of chaos, torn between the madness of religious fanaticism and the stubborn denial of scientists. Only a handful of people on the planet Lagash are prepared to face the truth--that their six suns are setting all at once for the first time in 2, years, signaling the end of civilization!

This collection contains a subset of the stories previously published in Nightfall and Other Stories This collection contains the remainder of the stories previously published in Nightfall and Other Stories not already published in Nightfall One. Nightfall : Book 1. The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov : Book 1.

This autobiography is detailed, showing how the Russian-speaking youth moved from being an English-illiterate to the self-taught genius that all came to know. This is the story as told when he didn't feel that he was running out of time. It has a sense of fun cf. The Endochronic Properties of Theotimoline 'practice paper' he wrote prior to his Ph.

D examination. Ranging widely, it includes whole stories as examples. The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov : Book 2. The second volume in the autobiography of this prolific science fiction writer, who was also a child prodigy and a renowned professor. This recounts his career from his first book to his th, from early rejections to critical acclaim. Photographs, a catalog of his books by Asimov, title and name indexes. The Complete Stories, Volume 1. The Complete Stories : Book 1.

The Complete Stories, Volume 2. The Complete Stories : Book 2. The Early Asimov. The quintessence of modern science fiction is thought by many to be contained in the novels and short stories of Isaac Asimov, and this new collection of twenty-seven of his early stories again confirms his inexhaustible imagination and compelling style.

Each story is prefaced by Dr. Asimov with fascinating, and frequently amusing biographical details about how and when he came to write it as well as his own critical evaluations of it. The result is a doubly rich science fiction treat--an assortment of tales that are thoroughly entertaining in their own right besides providing a first-hand look at the development of the young author and promises of the things yet to come from this master writer.

The stories in this collection were subsequently republished in The Early Asimov Volume The Early Asimov : Book 1. Contains a subset of the stories originally published in The Early Asimov. The Early Asimov : Book 2. The Early Asimov : Book 3. The Foundation Series. As the Old Empire crumbles into barbarism throughout the million worlds of the galaxy, Hari Seldon and his band of psychologists must create a new entity, the Foundation-dedicated to art, science, and technology-as the beginning of a new empire.

The Foundation Series : Book 1. For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists and scholars--and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations.

He calls his sanctuary the Foundation. But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind's last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun--or fight them and be destroyed.

The Foundation Series : Book 2. The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

Led by its founding father, the great psychohistorian Hari Seldon, and taking advantage of its superior science and technology, the Foundation has survived the greed and barbarism of its neighboring warrior-planets. Yet now it must face the Empire - still the mightiest force in the Galaxy even in its death throes. When an ambitious general determined to restore the Empire's glory turns the vast Imperial fleet toward the Foundation, the only hope for the small planet of scholars and scientists lies in the prophecies of Hari Seldon. But not even Hari Seldon could have predicted the birth of the extraordinary creature called The Mule - a mutant intelligence with a power greater than a dozen battle fleets - a power that can turn the strongest-willed human into an obedient slave.

The Foundation Series : Book 3. Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. As unsurpassed blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women dedicated to preserving humanity's light in a galaxy plunged into a nightmare of ignorance and violence thirty thousand years long. After years of struggle, the Foundation lies in ruins—destroyed by the mutant mind power of the Mule.

But it is rumored that there is a Second Foundation hidden somewhere at the end of the Galaxy, established to preserve the knowledge of mankind through the long centuries of barbarism. The Mule failed to find it the first time—but now he is certain he knows where it lies. The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only fourteen years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search.

They too want the Second Foundation destroyed…before it destroys them. The Foundation Series : Book 4. At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they retum to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge.

Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. Meanwhile someone-or something-outside of both Foundations sees to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe! The Foundation Series : Book 5. The fifth novel in Asimov's popular Foundation series opens with second thoughts.

Councilman Golan Trevize is wondering if he was right to choose a collective mind as the best possible future for humanity over the anarchy of contentious individuals, nations and planets. To test his conclusion, he decides he must know the past and goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. The Foundation Series : Book 6. It is the year 12, G. Here in the great multidomed capital of the Galactic Empire, forty billion people have created a civilization of unimaginable technological and cultural complexity.

Yet Cleon knows there are those who would see him fall - those whom he would destroy if only he could read the future. Hari Seldon has come to Trantor to deliver his paper on psychohistory, his remarkable theory of prediction. Little does the young Outworld mathematician know that he has already sealed his fate and the fate of humanity. For Hari possesses the prophetic power that makes him the most wanted man in the Empire The Foundation Series : Book 7.

A stunning testament to his creative genius. Forward The Foundation is a the saga's dramatic climax -- the story Asimov fans have been waiting for.

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An exciting tale of danger, intrigue, and suspense, Forward The Foundation brings to vivid life Asimov's best loved characters: hero Hari Seldon, who struggles to perfect his revolutionary theory of psychohistory to ensure the survival of humanity; Cleon II, the vain and crafty emperor of the Galactic Empire. The Great SF Stories 12 The Great SF Stories 13 The Great SF Stories 14 The Great SF Stories 15 The Great SF Stories 16 The Great SF Stories 17 The Great SF Stories 18 The Great SF Stories 19 The Great SF Stories 20 The Great SF Stories 21 The Great SF Stories 22 The Great SF Stories 23 The Great SF Stories 24 The Great SF Stories 25 The Hugo Winners.

This volume contains all the Hugo award winning short fiction for the award years to and the Short Story winner from , each with an introduction by Isaac Asimov. This is the paperback reprint edition of the second half of the original hardback volume 2 of the series the hardback was too large to conveniently reprint in paperback and was therefore split into halves.

This volume contains all the Hugo award winning short fiction for the award years to , each with an introduction by Isaac Asimov. This is the paperback reprint edition of the first half of the original hardback volume 2 of the series the hardback was too large to conveniently reprint in paperback and was therefore split into halves. The Hugo Winners, Volume 3 Book 1: This volume contains all the Hugo award winning short fiction for the award years to and the Novella winner from , each with an introduction by Isaac Asimov. This is the paperback reprint edition of the first half of the original hardback volume 3 of the series the hardback was too large to conveniently reprint in paperback and was therefore split into halves.

The Hugo Winners, Volume 3 Book 2: This is the paperback reprint edition of the second half of the original hardback volume 3 of the series the hardback was too large to conveniently reprint in paperback and was therefore split into halves. The Hugo Winners, Volume 1: The Hugo Winners : Book 1. The Hugo Winners, Volume 2: The Hugo Winners : Book 2. Also included is the Short Story winner the two winners were split between volume 2 and volume 3 of the series.

Not included is the winner, Hothouse The Long Afternoon of Earth , which was never included in any volume of the series. The Hugo Winners, Volume 3: The Hugo Winners : Book 3. Also included is the Novella winner the two winners were split between volume 2 and volume 3 of the series. The Hugo Winners, Volume 4: The Hugo Winners : Book 4. The Hugo Winners, Volume 5: The Hugo Winners : Book 5. Perhaps, in that moment, he realized.

Uncle Jim and Comrade Miller were already fighting, thin arms locked and dim eyes full of tears because they had no strength left to destroy what they hated. But I think, now, that the hate arose from a baffled love. They both loved us in a queer, maimed fashion, and we did not care, we did not care. Andy got some men together and separated the two and they were led off to different houses for a nap. When Dr. Simmons looked in on Uncle Jim a few hours later, he was gone. The doctor hurried off to find the Communist, and he was gone, too.

I only learned that afterward, since I went off to play tag and pom-pom-pullaway with the other kids down where the river flowed cool and dark. It was in the same river, next morning, that Constable Thompson found the Communist and the Republican. Nobody knew what had happened. They met under the Trees, alone, at dusk, when bonfires were being lit and the Elders making merry around them and lovers stealing 27 Pout Anderson off into the woods.

We gave them a decent funeral. It was the talk of the town for a week, and in fact the whole Ohio region heard about it; but after a while the talk died and the old crazy men lay forgotten. The next spring they learned, and there was an alliance made and war went across the hills. For the Brotherhood gang, just as it had threatened, cut Trees down wholesale and planted none. Such evil cannot go unpunished. This story is one of the most frequently anthologized of any of my stories and 1 think l see why.

Not that I set out to do any predictions, you understand. I was just writing a satire. However, just to show you how little I listen to myself, when pocket computers came in about fifteen years later, l was caught completely unprepared. Can you start a fire without a match? People once knew how to do that. Listen, l catch myself depending on it. These days, if I 29 Isaac Asimov must subtract from 7,, l don't put my pen to paper.

Anyway, in reading my satire, keep an eye out for grim echoes here and there. IA Jehan Shuman was used to dealing with the men in authority on long-embattled Earth.


Generals consequently listened to him. Heads of Congressional committees, too. There was one of each in the special lounge of New Pentagon. General Weider was space-burnt and had a small mouth puckered almost into a cipher. Congressman Brant was smooth-cheeked and clear-eyed.

Shuman, tall, distinguished, and Programmer First Class, faced them fearlessly. The litde man, in return, twisted the fingers of his hands anxiously. He had never been near such great men before. He was only an aging low-grade Technician who had long ago failed all tests designed to smoke out the gifted ones among mankind and had settled into the rut of unskilled labor.

How much is nine times seven? Congressman Brant lifted his eyebrows. An illusionist? Aub has memorized a few operations and with them he computes on paper. He looked pained. Simply a sheet of paper. General, would you be so kind as to suggest a number? Aub, multiply those numbers and please show the gentlemen your manner of doing it.

His forehead corrugated as he made painstaking marks on the paper. General Weider interrupted him sharply. I think I could make a passable seventeen myself, even without practice. Aub continued, his hand trembling a little. How did he guess? He did it on this sheet of paper. Now seven times three is twenty-one. But I always get the right answers, you see. Then one times three is three, so I write down a three under the two of twenty-one. Now you let that go for a while and start fresh. Put them down like this and it adds up to thirty-four.

Actually, the rules are quite simple and will work for any numbers. Seven thousand two hundred and thirty-nine. Aub set to work, bending low. He took another sheet of paper and another. The general took out his watch finally and stared at it. Here it is, sir. Forty-one million, five hundred and thirty-seven thousand, three hundred and eighty-two.

General Weider smiled bitterly. And then he stared and said in a surprised squeak. Possibly it was rising on Deneb, too. A machine might do it, or the human brain might. Let me give you an example. It is foolproof. I think you could do better. Consider, Mr. Their computers forge an impenetrable shield of countermissiles against our missiles, and ours forge one against theirs. If we advance the efficiency of our computers, so do they theirs, and for five years a precarious and profitless balance has existed. And if Deneb beats us to the punch, they may be catastrophic.

I can vouch for my committee but I will need the administration behind me. Well, Dr. Shuman tells me that in theory there is nothing the computer can do that the human mind cannot do. The human mind can duplicate the process. President, I asked the same question. It seems that at one time, computers were designed directly by human beings. Go on. The multiplication I just performed for you is an imitation of the workings of a computer. President—the further we can develop this thing, the more we can divert our federal effort from computer production and computer maintenance.

As the human brain 35 Isaac Asimov takes over, more of our energy can be directed into peacetime pursuits and the impingement of war on the ordinary man will be less. This will be most advantageous for the party in power, of course. Well, sit down. Congressman, sit down. I want some time to think about this. But meanwhile, show me that multiplication trick again. Loesser was conservative, very conservative, and liked to deal with computers as his father and grandfather had.

But Loesser was holding back. The human mind is a capricious thing. The computer will give the same answer to the same problem each time. What guarantee have we that the human mind will do the same? Computer Loesser, only manipulates facts. They are just tools.

After all, computers have not always existed. The cavemen with their triremes, stone axes, and railroads had no computers. Even the building of a railroad or a ziggurat called for some computing, and that must have been without computers, as we know them. Still, the cavemen must have had some method, eh? After all, man was eating grain before hydroponics and if the primitives ate grain, they must have grown them in soil.

What else could they have done? Transportation by means of bulky contrivances is giving way to direct mass transference. Communications devices become less massive and more efficient constantly. For that matter, compare your pocket computer with the massive jobs of a thousand years ago. Come, sir, Project Number is a going concern; progress is already headlong. But we want your help. What can you do beyond multiplication? Can you integrate a transcendental function? In time. In the last month I have learned to handle division.

To how many places? Take it to six places. There is a new development that is, so far, top secret and which, strictly speaking, I ought not to mention. Still—we may have made a breakthrough on the square-root front. And he is only a technician. A man like yourself, a trained and talented mathematician, ought to have no difficulty.

Are you with us? The General was the overall head, and he so considered himself at every waking moment. Still, the project will not be side-tracked into what some of you call the fundamentals. You can play with graphitics any way you want to after the war is over, but right now we have specific and very practical problems to solve.

He was no longer a Technician, of course, having been relieved of his duties and assigned to the project, with a fine-sounding title and good pay. Nor did he, himself, wish it. He was as uncomfortable with them as they with him. We could build fleets five times, ten times as great as Deneb could if we could but eliminate the computer. It may be fantastic now; a mere dream; but in the future I see the manned missile! The General drove on. The computer controlling them can only be so large, so they can meet the changing nature of antimissile defenses only in an unsatisfactory way.

Few missiles, if any, accomplish their goal, and missile warfare is coming to a dead end; for the enemy, fortunately, as well as for ourselves. It would give us a lead that might well mean the margin of victory. Besides which, gentlemen, the exigencies of war compel us to remember one thing. A man is much more dispensable than a computer. Technician Aub, in the privacy of his quarters, labored long over the note he was leaving behind. I saw no more in it than an interesting amusement, an exercise of mind. But now I see it is to be used only for death. They stood over the grave of the little Technician while tribute was paid to the greatness of his discovery.

Programmer Shuman bowed his head along with the rest of them, but remained unmoved. The Technician had done his share and was no longer needed, after all. The computer is in my own head. And it was amazing the feeling of power that gave him. His many honors include a Hugo Award in , a Nebula Award in , a Pilgrim Award for his work in science fiction criticism in , and the Campbell Award in Aldlss to get across what it feels like to deal with things much larger than yourself, or much smaller. For myself, I usually find that an invasion of my privacy. IA Claude Ford knew exactly how it was to hunt a brontosaurus.

You peered out at the creature sprawling among the reeds, its body as graceful as a sock full of sand. There it lay, letting the gravity cuddle it nappy-damp to the marsh, running its big rabbit-hole nostrils a foot above the grass in a sweeping semi-circle, in a snoring search for more sausagey reeds. But as you, little mammal with opposed digit and. It gives off a smell as deeply resonant as the bass note of a piano. It is grey as the Viking seas, daft-deep as cathedral foundations.

Over it scamper—you can see them from here! If one of them jumped on you, it would very likely break your back. You could shoot now. You know why you pause, even as you pretend not to know why you pause; that old worm conscience, long as a baseball 43 Brian W. Aldlss pitch, long-lived tortoise, is at work; through every sense it slides, more monstrous than the serpent. Through the intelligence: whispering that boredom, the kite-hawk who never feeds, will settle again when the task is done. Through the nerves: sneering that when the adrenalin currents cease to flow the vomiting begins.

Through the maestro behind the retina: plausibly forcing the beauty of the view upon you. Spare us that poor old slipper-slopper of a word, beauty; holy mom, is this a travelogue, nor are we out of it? Watch this lovely shot now! Oh, lovely, yep, a couple of hayricksful at least emerging from his nether end. That sure was a beauty, folks, delivered straight from consumer to consumer. The birds are fighting over it now. And nothing to do now but hop back up onto the old rump steak and wait for the next round.

Shoot the beast and put it out of your agony. Taking your courage in your hands, you raise it to shoulder level and squint down its sights. There is a terrible report; you are half stunned. The monster still munches, relieved to have broken enough wind to unbecalm the Ancient Mariner.

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Angered—or is it some subtler emotion? Or again something subtler? Why should you be confused just because you come from a confused civilization? Let death be a saga, sagacious, Beowulfate. Quarter of a mile distant is the sound of a dozen hippos springing boisterously in gymslips from the ancestral mud, and next second a walloping great tail as long as Sunday and as thick as Saturday night comes slicing over your head.

You duck as duck you must, but the beast missed you anyway because it so happens that its co-ordination is no better than yours would be if you had to wave the Woolworth Building at a tarsier. This done, it seems to feel it has done its duty by itself. It forgets you.

Visualizing a Pulsar Navigation Network

You just wish you could forget yourself as easily; that was, after all, the reason you had to come the long way here. Get Away From It All, said the time travel brochure, which meant for you getting away from Claude Ford, a husband as futile as his name with a terrible wife called Maude. Maude and Claude Ford. Who could not adjust to themselves, to each other, or to the world they were bom in. You try and halt your silly, slobbering thoughts, but they have never really stopped since the coca-collaborating days of your growing up; God, if adolescence did not exist it would be unnecessary to invent it!

Slightly, it steadies you to look again on the enormous bulk of this tyrant vegetarian into whose presence you charged with such a mixed death-life wish, charged with all the emotion the human orga ni sm is capable of. This time the bogey-man is real, Claude, just as you wanted it to be, and this time you really have to face up to it before it turns and faces you again. And so again you lift Ole Equalizer, waiting till you can spot the vulnerable spot. The bright birds sway, the lice scamper like dogs, the 45 Brian W. Aldlss marsh groans, as bronto rolls over and sends his little cranium snaking down under the bile-bright water in a forage for roughage.

You watch this; you have never been so jittery before in all your jittered life, and you are counting on this catharsis to wring the last drop of acid fear out of your system for ever. And as you say it for the umpteenth time, the crazy head comes back out of the water like a renegade express and gazes in your direction. Grazes in your direction.

For as the champing jaw with its big blunt molars like concrete posts works up and down, you see the swamp water course out over rimless lips, lipless rims, splashing your feet and sousing the ground. Reed and root, stalk and stem, leaf and loam, all are intermittently visible in that masticating maw and, struggling, straggling, or tossed among them, minnows, tiny crustaceans, frogs—all destined in that awful, jaw-full movement to turn into bowel movement. And as the glump-glump-glumping takes place, above it the slime-resistant eyes again survey you.

These beasts live up to three hundred years, says the time travel brochure, and this beast has obviously tried to live up to that, for its gaze is centuries old, full of decades upon decades of wallowing in its heavyweight thoughtlessness until it has grown wise on twitterpated-ness. Bang-bang, the dum-dums, big as paw-paws, go.

Those century-old lights, dim and sacred, go out with no indecision. These cloisters are closed till Judgment Day. Your reflection is tom and bloodied from them for ever. Over their ravaged panes nictitating membranes slide slowly upwards, like dirty sheets covering a cadaver. The jaw continues to munch slowly, as slowly the head sinks down. Slowly, a squeeze of cold reptile blood toothpastes down the wrinkled flank of one cheek. Never mind! Quaff down your beakers, lords, Claude Ford has slain a harmless creature.

Long live Claude the Clawed! You watch breathless as the head touches the ground, the long laugh of neck touches the ground, the jaws close for good. You watch and wait for something else to happen, but nothing ever does. Nothing ever would. You could stand here watching for a hundred and fifty million years, Lord Claude, and nothing would ever happen here again. Silt and sediment would filter down over the mighty grave, a slow rain with centuries to rain in. Finally, when he was wrapped in a tomb finer than any Indian rajah ever boasted, the powers of the Earth would raise him high on their shoulders until, sleeping still, bronto would lie in a brow of the Rockies high above the waters of the Pacific.

You have no emotion now. You are just faintly put out. You expected dramatic thrashing of the ground, or bellowing; on the other hand, you are glad the thing did not appear to suffer. You are like all cruel men, sentimental; you are like all sentimental men, squeamish. You tuck the gun under your arm and walk round the land side of the dinosaur to view your victory. You prowl past the ungainly hooves, round the septic white of the cliff of belly, beyond the glistening and how-thought- provoking cavern of the cloaca, finally posing beneath the switch-back sweep of tail-to-rump.

Now your disappointment 47 Brian W. Aldiss is as crisp and obvious as a visiting card: the giant is not half as big as you thought it was. It is not one half as large, for example, as the image of you and Maude is in your mind. Poor little warrior, science will never invent anything to assist the titanic death you want in the contra-terrene caverns of your fee-fo-fi-fumblingly fearful id!

Nothing is left to you now but to slink back to your time-mobile with a belly full of anti-climax. See, the bright dung-consuming birds have already cottoned on to the true state of affairs; one by one, they gather up their hunched wings and fly disconsolately off across the swamp to other hosts. They know when a good thing turns back, and do not wait for the vultures to drive them off; all hope abandon, ye who entrail here.

You also turn away. You turn, but you pause. Nothing is left but to go back, no, but a. It is Claude. It is the whole awful, hopeless, endless business of trying to adjust to an over-complex environment, of trying to turn yourself into a cog. Your escape from it into the grand Simplicities of the Jurassic, to quote the brochure again, was only a partial escape, now over. So you pause and, as you pause, something lands socko on your back, pitching you face forward into tasty mud. You struggle and scream as lobster claws tear at your neck and throat.

You try to pick up the rifle but cannot, so in agony you roll over, and next second the crab-thing is greedying it on your chest. You wrench at its shell, but it giggles and pecks your fingers off. You forgot when you killed the bronto that its parasites would leave it, and that to a little shrimp like you they would be a deal more dangerous than their host. You do your best, kicking for at least three minutes. By the end of that time there is a whole pack of the creatures on you.

Already they are picking your carcass loving clean. Although a fair number of sf novels appeared from to , they were either for kids or were rewritten versions of stories and books published earlier. He turned his attention to nonfiction, producing numerous works that include a number that are still in print today. Isaac, George R. That book sank without a trace, so it is a pleasure to present the story to you again. MHG I read robot stories with a proprietary air.

After all, I am Robert Silverberg supposed to be the father of the modern robot story. This means that I tend to be captious and hard to please. This one, however, I approve of. Just as a velvet glove is most effective if there is an iron fist inside, so a humorous story is most effective if there is a grim echo to the laughter.

IA The Carmichaels were a pretty plump family, to begin with. Sam Carmichael liked the idea of having his food prepared and served by a robot who would keep one beady solenoid eye on the collective family waistline. That includes free service contract for the first five years.

Only two hundred credits down and up to forty months to pay. Seventy-five, maybe, if the recipe bank is still in good condition. Seventy-five, then? And delivery of the new model by this evening? He signed the purchase order cheerfully, pocketed the facsim and handed over ten crisp twenty-credit vouchers. The time was only hours when he left the shop, got into his car and punched out the coordinates for home.

The whole transaction had taken less than ten minutes. Carmichael, a second-level executive at Normandy Trust, prided himself both on his good business sense and his ability to come quickly to a firm decision. The car obediently took itself around back to the garage, while Carmichael stood in the scanner field until the door opened. Clyde, the robutler, came scuttling hastily up, took his hat and cloak, and handed him a Martini.

Carmichael beamed appreciatively. Pleasant gin-induced warmth filtered through him. The robutler was ancient and due for replacement as soon as the budget could stand the charge, but Carmichael realized he would miss the clanking old heap. He leaned back, warm, replete, able easily to ignore the blustery November winds outside. This was the hour for relaxation in the Carmichael household. Only be careful. Carmichael lifted an eyebrow and swivelled in his chair. He has a bulky package to deliver.

Show him in, Clyde. He was followed by a lumbering object about seven feet high, mounted on a pair of rolltreads and swathed completely in quilted rags. Lot of delicate circuitry in that job. You ought to be proud of him. Fancy price, fancy name. It was big, all right, with a massive barrel of a chest—robotic controls are always housed in the chest, not in the relatively tiny head—and a gleaming 53 Robert Silverberg mirror-keen finish that accented its sleekness and newness.

Carmichael felt the satisfying glow of pride in ownership. Somehow it seemed to him that he had done something noble and lordly in buying this magnificent robot. He unclipped a thick instruction manual and handed it to Carmichael, who stared at the tome uneasily. Come here a minute. Right over here. You just tape in the names of the members of the family and their present and desired weights, and the roboservitor takes care of the rest.

Computes caloric intake, adjusts menus, and everything else. No more dieting for you, Myra—the robot does all the work. I handle service and delivery for Marhew Stores in this area. After all, he had bought her sixteen years before, only a couple of years after his marriage. But she— it, he corrected in annoyance—was only a robot, and robots became obsolete. Carmichael blotted Jemima from his mind. The four of them spent most of the rest of that evening discovering things about their new roboservitor. We might as well start right away.

But he was happy to see that they were all evidently pleased with the robot. Even with the discount and the trade-in, it had been a little on the costly side. But it would be worth it. Carmichael slept soundly and woke early, anticipating the first breakfast under the new regime.

He still felt pleased with himself. Dieting had always been such a nuisance, he thought—but, on the other hand, he had never enjoyed the sensation of an 55 Robert Sllverberg annoying roll of fat pushing outward against his elastobelt. He exercised sporadically, but it did little good, and he never had the initiative to keep a rigorous dieting campaign going for long. He dressed, showered and hastily depilated. It was Breakfast was ready. Ethel and the children were already at the table when he arrived. Ethel and Myra were munching toast; Joey was peering at a bowl of milkless dry cereal, next to which stood a full glass of milk.

Carmichael sat down. Carmichael stared at the single slice. It had already been buttered for him, and the butter had evidently been measured out with a micrometer. The robot proceeded to hand him a cup of black coffee. He groped for the cream and sugar. The other members of his family were regarding him strangely, and they were curiously, suspiciously silent. But you must learn to drink your coffee without such things, if you wish to lose weight. Somehow he had not expected the regimen to be quite like this—quite so, well, Spartan. Of course.

Ah—are the eggs ready yet? On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, breakfast is to consist of toast and black coffee only, except for Master Joey, who gets cereal, fruit juice and milk. He shrugged and took a bite of the toast. He sipped the coffee; it tasted like river mud, but he tried not to make a face.

Carmichael noticed next. They called him the Iron Chancellor. Carmichael did not reply. He finished his toast and coffee somewhat glumly and signalled Clyde to get the car out of the garage. As he walked toward the door, the robot glided around him and handed him a small printed slip of paper.

Carmichael stared at it. This is your luncheon menu. He ate instead at a cheap robocafeteria two blocks to the north. He still felt hungry when he had finished, but he compelled himself to return loyally to the office. He wondered how long he was going to be able to keep up this iron self-control. Not very long, he realized dolefully. He switched on the roof-mounted video, leaned back at the re- cliner and tried to relax as the car bore him homeward.

He was in for a surprise, though, when he stepped through the safety field into his home. Clyde was waiting as always, and, as always, took his hat and cloak. And, as always, Carmichael reached out for the cocktail that Clyde prepared nightly to welcome him home. There was no cocktail. You too! You mix the best Martinis in the Western Hemisphere. It seemed to have lost all control over its gyro-balance; it clutched agonizedly at its chest panel and started to sag.

Clyde, are you all right? It looked dangerously close to an overload. May— may I be excused? Sorry, Clyde. There was such a thing as going too far! The roboservitor— Bismarck—had obviously placed on Clyde a flat prohibition against serving liquor to him. Reducing or no reducing, there were limits. Carmichael strode angrily toward the kitchen.

His wife met him halfway. The robot swivelled as Carmichael entered. But your body will adjust to the reduction in food intake before long. I was forced to adjust his programming. From now on, sir, you may indulge in cocktails on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I beg to be excused from further discussion now, sir. The meal is almost ready. Carmichael thought. And poor me! He gnashed his teeth impotently a few times, then gave up and turned away from die glistening, overbearing roboservitor.

Dinner consisted of steak and peas, followed by black coffee. The steak was rare; Carmichael preferred it well done. But Bismarck—the name was beginning to take hold—had had all the latest dietetic theories taped into him, and rare meat it was. After the robot had cleared the table and tidied up the kitchen, it retired to its storage place in the basement, which gave the Carmichael family a chance to speak openly to each other for the first time that evening.

But we have to give it a try. We can always make readjustments in the programming if it turns out to be necessary. He elbowed himself from his chair and looked around. I forbid you to have any pie. Perhaps, he thought, I am being a little over severe. And the thought of lemon pie was a tempting one. He was pretty hungry himself. Carmichael jumped half an inch. It was the robot, Bismarck. My calculations are very precise. He sighed weakly. On the third day he tossed away the printed lunchtime diet and went out irresponsibly with MacDougal and Hennessey for a six-course lunch, complete with cock- 61 Robert Silverberg tails.

That night, he was able to tolerate the seven-hundred- calorie dinner without any inward grumblings, being still well lined with lunch. The larder now bulged with wheat germ, protein bread, irrigated salmon, and other hitherto unfamiliar items. After the meager dinner, he ordered Bismarck to go to the basement and stay there until summoned. Joey, have you found the instructions on how to reprogram the robot? Extra weight is harmful to every vital organ in the body. I plead with you to maintain my scheduling unaltered.

Joey, inactivate him and do your stuff. A frightening assortment of gears, cams and translucent cables became visible inside the robot. With a small wrench in one hand and the open instruction book in the other, Joey prepared to make the necessary changes, while Carmichael held his breath and a pall of silence descended on the living room. Even old Clyde leaned forward to have a better view.

Now twist Dial B9 to the left, thereby opening the taping compartment and—oops! Ethel and Myra gasped simultaneously. The great metal creature stood stiffly in the middle of the living room; with brusque gestures of its big hands, it slammed shut the open chest plates. Myra, get me the card Mr. Robinson left. He was so startled he relinquished it without a struggle. He watched as Bismarck efficiently ripped it into little fragments and shoved them into a wall disposal unit.

Carmichael, today you violated the program I set down for you. My perceptors reveal that you consumed an amount far in excess of your daily lunchtime requirement. Bismarck, I order you to shut yourself off at once. I cannot serve you if I am shut off. I want you to remain still until I can phone the repairman and get him to service you.

He felt a faint tremor of apprehension. Carmichael watched, aghast, as the inexorable robotic fingers twisted and manipulated the field controls. You will remain within and continue to obey my beneficial advice. Next, the windows were opaqued and the stud broken off. Good night. He awoke late, for one thing—well past nine. He discovered that someone, obviously Bismarck, had neatly cancelled out the impulses from the housebrain that woke him at seven each morning.

The breakfast menu was toast and black coffee. Carmichael ate disgruntedly, not speaking, indicating by brusque scowls that he did not want to be spoken to. After the miserable meal had been cleared away, he surreptitiously tiptoed to the front door in his dressing gown and darted a hand toward the handle. The door refused to budge. He pushed until sweat dribbled down his face.

The door will not open. I explained this last night. The robot had them utterly hemmed in. The reversed privacy field made it impossible for them to leave the house; it cast a sphere of force around the entire detached dwelling. Not here in Westley. Carmichael had picked it for that reason. Since you will not obey willingly, obedience must be enforced—for your own good. The worst part of it was that the roboservitor sounded so sincere! The phone connection was severed.

The windows were darkened. Now Bismarck was determined to make them lose weight if it had to kill them to do so. And that seemed very likely. Blockaded, the Carmichael family met in a huddled little group to whisper plans for a counterattack. I tried to sneak in and scrounge some food, and got nothing but a flat nose for trying.

It seemed to have effect on humans only, Carmichael thought. Carmichael glanced at his watch. The time was hours. While you slept this morning, I notified your place of employment that you were resigning. To forestall difficulties, let me add that a force web will prevent access on your part to the electronic equipment in the basement. I will be able to conduct such communication with the outside world as will be necessary for your welfare, Mr. You need have no worries on that score. But not here. Oh no. Please keep quiet? Please stay calm? In one comer of the living room, Myra was sobbing quietly to herself, blotching her makeup.

Carmichael felt a faintly claustrophobic quiver. The house was big, three levels and twelve rooms, but even so he could get tired of it very quickly. And tired of lettuce-and-tomato lunches, too, Carmichael added silently, as he shepherded his family toward the dining room for their meagre midday meal. He glared at her. And just what am I supposed to do? Toast-and-black-coffee, lettuce-and-tomato, rare-steak-and-peas. But what could he do? Contact with the outside world was impossible.

Generally, they were self-sufficient. It was all very neat, and the four of them were fast approaching a state of starvation. Tell him, Myra. Carmichael shook his head vehemently. He took a deep breath. He felt himself speared by two 69 Robert Sllverberg deadly feminine glances, and he knew there was no hope but to try it.

Clyde, go call Bismarck. He turned to see the broad figure of the roboservitor standing at the entrance to the living room. Carmichael anticipated immediate destruction—but, to his surprise, he found himself slipping as he tried to grasp the thick arms. It set them down on the couch and stood back. Please avoid any such acts in the future. It stands to reason, though. He did not look at his wife and his children.

Physical attack on Bismarck was now out of the question. In the upstairs bathroom, six days after the beginning of the blockade, Sam Carmichael stared at his haggard fleshless face in the mirror before wearily climbing on the scale. He weighed He had lost twelve pounds in less than two weeks. He was fast becoming a quivering wreck. A thought occurred to him as he stared at the wavering needle on the scale, and sudden elation spread over him.

He dashed downstairs. Upstairs and weigh yourselves! I have a record of an order causing weight reduction, but that tape does not appear to specify a terminus ad quern. His legs wobbled; he felt Joey supporting him. He tottered into the living room and collapsed heavily in what had once been his favorite armchair. The entire house had become odious to him. But now that would be impossible. He had hoped, for a few minutes at least, that the robot would release them from dietary bondage when the original goal was shown to be accomplished.

Evidently that was to be denied him. She had lost her earlier tendencies to hysteria, and after long days of complex crocheting now regarded the universe with quiet resignation. The fact that I weigh now. Then Then finally about 88 pounds or so.

Bismarck will starve us to death. Carmichael shook his head. Dad—I have an idea that I think will work. If I can get a sort of multiple vibrating effect in his neural pathway, maybe I can slip him through the reversed privacy field. He can go get help, find someone who can shut the field off. Tell me more. I thought I heard it open just now. He cursed the salesman at Marhew, he cursed the inventor of cryotronic robots, he cursed the day he had first felt ashamed of good old Jemima and resolved to replace her with a new model. Carmichael blinked and looked up.

A wiry, ruddy-cheeked figure in a heavy peajacket had materialized in the middle of the living room. He was clutching a green metal toolbox in one gloved hand. He was Robinson, the robot repairman. I could see a light on inside, but nobody answered the doorbell when I rang, so I stepped in. Carmichael told him crisply and precisely and quickly. But at least I can end your imprisonment. Great little gadget. The robutler returned a few moments later, followed by the looming roboservitor. Robinson grinned gaily, pointed the neutralizer at Bismarck and squeezed.

The robot froze in mid-glide, emitting a brief squeak. That should immobilize him. Overwhelmed with relief, Carmichael shakily made his way to a seat. Free at last! His mouth watered at the thought of the meals he was going to have in the next few days. Potatoes and Martinis and warm buttered rolls and all the other forbidden foods! If we can reproduce this effect, it means we can build self-willed robots—and think of what that means to science!

It was too late. Robinson had squeezed his neutralizer trigger again, activating Bismarck—and in one quick swoop the roboservitor seized neutralizer and toolbox from the stunned repairman, activated the privacy field once again, and exultantly crushed the fragile neutralizer between two mighty fingers. He peered into the toolbox, found a second neutralizer and neatly reduced it to junk. He clanged shut his chest plates. Robinson turned and streaked for the door, forgetting the reactivated privacy field.

He bounced back hard, spinning wildly around. Carmichael rose from his seat just in time to catch him. Carmichael was no longer able to share the emotion; inwardly he was numb, totally resigned, not minded for further struggle. He patted his hollow stomach and sighed gently. Welcome to our happy little home. I hope you like toast and black coffee for breakfast. Thanks a lot, Bob. MHG The proper way of doing a satire is to take some aspect of society that strikes you as particularly stupid and carry it to a logical extreme.