You will possibly shudder, but you will certainly remember for a long time, this story of what happens when Tomorrow's gently implacable teachers are faced with a problem for which there seems to be only one solution....
m a new game, and after that took them to supper served in the school's cafeteria. No other robot was left in the building, but it did not matter, because the doors were locked so that the children could not go home.
The other robots had begun to walk out into the town, and as they walked the robots walked from other schools, in other towns. All over the country, all over the towns, the robots walked to tell the people that the children would not be home from school, and do what had to be done.
In the schools, the roboteachers told stories until the children fell asleep.
* * * * *
Morning came. The robots were up with the sun. The children were up with the robots. There was breakfast and more stories, and now the children clustered about the robots, holding onto their arms, where they could cling, tagging and frisking along behind the robots as they went down into the town. The sun was warm, and it was early, early, and very bright from the morning sun in the streets.
A pre-Asimov robot story, so that means the robots can do ANYTHING required to follow their programming.
The writing isn't bad and the dialogue is just clunkishly robotic.
Neat little pulp sci-fi, but weakened by having the horror (as one reviewer points out) done off-stage. Would liked to have seen that part in the story. Let down by poor writing, and the dialogue is stilted in places, but still a good read. Nice little twist that adds a chill at the end.
Cheryl said it well; the story reads like a Twilight Zone episode.
Didn't see that coming.
Understated SF/horror short story. Robots programed to do everything for "the good of the children" take their orders to the extreme level. Any horror elements are subtle and done "off-stage". This story would've made a good "Twilight Zone" episode.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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