Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"Almost Unconsciously, He Activated His Stunners and Focused Them"

Years before RoboCop there was . . .

"Autohuman 14."
By Bruce McAllister (born 1946).
First appearance: Worlds of IF, July 1969.
Short short story (6 pages).
Online at (HERE).
"Everyone agreed that autohumans all were very well adjusted . . ."
When people are damaged you don't just throw them away. Massel, a patrol cop, has been damaged, but what's left can still be of use—to society, to himself. The problem, however, is how does he adjust to the new reality; how can he keep others safe when even the law over-steps itself and hurts someone else the way he was? Massel has sworn to serve and protect, but does that mean, in this instance, he's justified when he sets his stunners on full focus, well aware that they're "fatal nine out of ten times"?

Typo: "and Masel was thrown back"

- Bruce McAllister and his science fiction haven't gone unnoticed on the World Wide Webbie; go to Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), the ISFDb (HERE), and his own website (HERE).
- McAllister quotes from two poems from A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad (1896): "With Rue My Heart Is Laden," online (HERE), and "When I Was One-and-Twenty," online (HERE).

The bottom line: "You would run much slower if you were dragging something behind you, like a knapsack or a sheriff."
Lemony Snicket

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