Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Harlan Ellison’s, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”.  Creepy…

October 30th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

“What does AM mean?”

Gorrister answered him. We had done this sequence a thousand times before, but it was Benny’s favorite story.

“At first it meant Allied Mastercomputer, and then it meant Adaptive Manipulator, and later on it developed sentience and linked itself up and they called it an Aggressive Menace, but by then it was too late, and finally it called itself AM, emerging intelligence, and what it meant was I am … cogito ergo sum … I think, therefore I am.”

Benny drooled a little, and snickered.

“There was the Chinese AM and the Russian AM and the Yankee AM and—” He stopped. Benny was beating on the floorplates with a large, hard fist. He was not happy. Gorrister had not started at the beginning. Gorrister began again.

“The Cold War started and became World War Three and just kept going. It became a big war, a very complex war, so they needed the computers to handle it. They sank the first shafts and began building AM. There was the Chinese AM and the Russian AM and the Yankee AM and everything was fine until they had honeycombed the entire planet, adding on this element and that element. But one day AM woke up and knew who he was, and he linked himself, and he began feeding all the killing data, until everyone was dead, except for the five of us, and AM brought us down here.”


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