Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Small World of M-75   By: (1926-2006)

The Small World of M-75 by Ed M. Clinton

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from If Worlds of Science Fiction July 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.


By Ed M. Clinton, Jr.

Illustrated by Ed Emsh

For all his perfection and magnificence he was but a baby with a new found freedom in a strange and baffling world....

Like sparks flaring briefly in the darkness, awareness first came to him. Then, there were only instants, shocking clear, brief: finding himself standing before the main damper control, discovering himself adjusting complex dials, instants that flickered uncertainly only to become memories brought to life when awareness came again.

He was a kind of infant, conscious briefly that he was, yet unaware of what he was. Those first shocking moments were for him like the terrifying coming of visual acuity to a child; he felt like homo neandertalensis must have felt staring into the roaring fury of his first fire. He was homo metalicus first sensing himself.

Yet a little more. You could not stuff him with all that technical data, you could not weave into him such an intricate pattern of stimulus and response, you could not create such a magnificent feedback mechanism, in all its superhuman perfection, and expect, with the unexpected coming to awareness, to have created nothing more than the mirror image of a confused, helpless child.

Thus, when the bright moments of consciousness came, and came, as they did, more and more often, he brooded, brooded on why the three blinking red lights made him move to the main control panel and adjust lever C until the three lights flashed off. He brooded on why each signal from the board brought forth from him these specific responses, actions completely beyond the touch of his new and uncertain faculty. When he did not brood, he watched the other two robots, performing their automatic functions, seeing their responses, like his, were triggered by the lights on the big board and by the varying patterns of sound that issued periodically from overhead.

It was the sounds which were his undoing. The colored lights, with their monotonous regularity, failed to rouse him. But the sounds were something else, for even as he responded to them, doing things to the control board in patterned reaction to particular combinations of particular sounds, he was struck with the wonderful variety and the maze of complexity in those sounds; a variety and complexity far beyond that of the colored lights. Thus, being something of an advanced analytic calculator and being, by virtue of his superior feedback system, something considerably more than a simple machine (though he perhaps fell short of those requisites of life so rigorously held by moralists and biologists alike) he began to investigate the meaning of the sounds.

Bert Sokolski signed the morning report and dropped it into the transmitter. He swung around on his desk stool; he was a big man, and the stool squealed in sharp protest to his shifting weight.

Joe Gaines, who was as short and skinny and dark haired as his colleague was tall and heavily muscled and blond, shuddered at the sound. Sokolski grinned wickedly at his flinching.

"Check up time, I suppose," muttered Gaines without looking up from the magazine he held propped on his knees. He finished the paragraph, snapped the magazine shut, and swung his legs down from the railing that ran along in front of the data board. "Dirty work for white collar men like us."

Sokolski snorted. "You haven't worn a white shirt in the last six years," he growled, rising and going to the supply closet. He swung open the door and began pulling out equipment... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books