“Monkey Wrench” by Gordon R. Dickson
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, August 1951
Price I paid: none
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“DO NOT FOLD, BEND, OR MUTILATE”
marked the beginning of our cybernetic society. How will it end?
The varied answers to that question have proved to be fertile ground for some of the greatest science fiction imaginations. But perhaps we shouldn’t look too closely into the future of cybernetics. It may be that the survival capacity of the thinking machine is greater than that of its maker…
The Penetrator #30: Computer Kill by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1979
Price I paid: $1.50
Electronics wizard Hector Lattimer has at last figured out a fool-proof way to beat the system. Using his ingeniously designed portable computer terminal, Lattimer can tap into any programmed bank and authorize payment to his account. Then, in a flash of a diode, all data is wiped out—with no one the wiser…and Lattimer the richer.
Even the Penetrator is baffled—until he learns that the engineer is an embittered ex-employee of an electronics firm; a madman whose attempts at extortion have failed, who is now planning to destroy the entire works by automating a deadly device that will trigger an explosion.
It’s a touchy situation, and Mark Hardin’s number may be up—unless he can stop the bomb before it blows!
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B.E.A.S.T. by Charles Eric Maine
Ballantine Books, 1966
Price I paid: none
Dr. Charles Howard Gilley was a brilliant man. And he was in charge of a very remarkable, very expensive computer.
So expensive, and so remarkable, that the authorities were much concerned with his proper use of its time.
They of course couldn’t know that to Dr. Gilley the computer had ceased to be an “it.”
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