Survival Tactics

Author: Al Sevcik
Published: 1958
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,146 / 22 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 73.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,254
Added to site: 2008.03.31 20461

The robots were built to serve Man; to do his work, see to his comforts, make smooth his way. Then the robots figured out an additional service--putting Man out of his misery.

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r the operation of its tracking mechanism alone. "There just isn't room for the electronics. You'd need a computer as big as the one at camp headquarters."

* * * * *

In the distance the sky blazed as a blaster roared in the jungle. Then Alan heard the approaching robot, crunching and snapping its way through the undergrowth like an onrushing forest fire. He froze. "Good Lord! They communicate with each other! The one I jammed must be calling others to help."

He began to move along the bank, away from the crashing sounds. Suddenly he stopped, his eyes widened. "Of course! Radio! I'll bet anything they're automatically controlled by the camp computer. That's where their brain is!" He paused. "Then, if that were put out of commission ..." He jerked away from the bank and half ran, half pulled himself through the undergrowth towards the camp.

Trees exploded to his left as another robot fired in his direction, too far away to be effective but churning towards him through the blackness.


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Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Sardo Weems

A man alone on a new planet finds all of his shipmates killed by the (telepathic?) robots designed to protect them. Okay as an adventure story, probably best for pre-teens.


This story is probably the best of the three Sevcik stories on this site. With Alien Offer being second, in my humble opinion. Both stories are fairly well written and keep you reading until the end. The premise of this one is pretty basic (man against machine and environment) but Sevcik still writes a fairly compelling little story with it. A quick, enjoyable read.

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