Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"I'll Try the Whole Cause and Condemn You to Death"

"I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury."
By John Taylor (1931-2012).
First appearance: Galaxy, November-December 1971.
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).

"Even though no one was watching, not even the machine, Braun’s face burned as if the skin had been peeled away."
 It's an age-old dilemma: Who does watch the watchers?
- At least in the future robotic world of our story humans are still in the loop; see the Wikipedia articles about robots (HERE) and robotics (HERE), as well as the Atomic

Rockets page on "Man Amplifiers and Robots" (HERE; slow load).
- For notions of what non-humanoid robots like the ones in the story could look like, go (HERE).
- The story's title—and theme—come from a passage in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures
in Wonderland (1865); see Wikipedia (HERE).
- This was the author's first published SFFnal story; see Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE).

The bottom line: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

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