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Uninhibited Robot

Author: Jack Vance
Year written: 1950
Author’s age at the time: 34
Year published: October 1951
Publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories
Other title(s): The Planet Machine, The Plagian Siphon
Dutch title: De Planeetmachine
Genre: short story, novelette, SF

Quotes:

“She’s okay,” said Carr. “It was that kapok stuff from Deneb Kaitos. Now let’s see I’ve got to set up this phony code. Hey, Scotty,” he called down to Allixter, “made your will yet? This is like stepping out of an airplane holding your nose and hoping you’ll hit water.”

Encouraged, Allixter proceeded to Step Two Enumeration. The screen depicted symbols representing the agglomerative numerals a series of lines, one dot in the first line, two dots in the second line, three in the third, four in the fourth, in such fashion up to twenty. Joe, alive to his task, made sounds for the numbers. Then the screen displayed a random multitude of dots and Joe created another sound.

The speaker made a bleating sound which once more seemed to carry near-human overtones. Allixter set his shoulder to the mobile unit.

Republished in Sail 25 and Other Stories