The Creature from Cleveland Depths

The Creature from Cleveland Depths

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4.6
(5 Reviews)
The Creature from Cleveland Depths by Fritz Leiber

Published:

1962

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The Creature from Cleveland Depths

By

4.6
(5 Reviews)
Here is a modern tale of an inner-directed sorcerer and an outer-directed sorcerer's apprentice.

Book Excerpt

You are. Computers simply aren't alive."

"What's alive? A word. I think computers are conscious, at least while they're operating. They've got that inner glow of awareness. They sort of ... well ... meditate."

"Gussy, computers haven't got any circuits for meditating. They're not programmed for mystical lucubrations. They've just got circuits for solving the problems they're on."

"Okay, you admit they've got problem-solving circuits--like a man has. I say if they've got the equipment for being conscious, they're conscious. What has wings, flies."

"Including stuffed owls and gilt eagles and dodoes--and wood-burning airplanes?"

"Maybe, under some circumstances. There was a wood-burning airplane. Fay," Gusterson continued, wagging his wrists for emphasis, "I really think computers are conscious. They just don't have any way of telling us that they are. Or maybe they don't have any reason to tell us, like the little Scotch boy who didn't say a word until he was

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(1962) Sci-fi (Invention) / Thriller (Future) / Short story (Magazine)


From 'Galaxy Magazine', 1962.


R: * * * *


Plot bullets

The atomic war is still going on. There are, in Cleveland, as in other cities, those who prefer to live above ground and those who seek what they hope is the safety in the underground city.
A writer and his wife choose to live above ground. The under ground city is continually searching for ways to make money and satisfy their need of creativity in an otherwise static existence..
The writer's friend, an underground dweller, comes to him for ideas for products that the underground manufacturers can produce for the benefit of all.
After much brain storming, the subject of a device to remind people of appointments and coming events, is conceived. It will be called 'The Tickler', which is an old time term for an office appointment/reminder calendar system.
The Tickler grows from a small simple device pinned to the shoulder, to a monster device that must be strapped to ones back. It performs its duties well, maybe too well.
Now the Tickler not only keeps you on track, it establishes the track you are to follow. Some call it the Tickler, others 'The Creature from the Cleveland Depths'.

Clever, clever story about adding more and more features to a simple machine. The cold war is still going on, but makes no difference to the story.
Cocktails, doomsday and capes. Yet, he writes a subtle commentary about how technology controls our lives. You might not look at your smartphone the same way again. Slow at the start, but a smashing ending.