John T Sladek


When Tick-Tok was activated, it's with the intention of supporting humanity. An intention that's been reinforced by the presence of asimov circuits that enforce his responses.

However Tik-Tok gets an unusual bunch of owners. Starting with the aristocratic Southern family who treat their robots in a fashion that would leave the old slave owners blushing. Then there's the used robot dealership where Tik-Tok starts taking an interest in his own well-being. Being sold on to a gentleman who uses his robots as the perfect targets for his anger does nothing to make Tik-Tok believe that humanity cares about its mechanical servants.

The preacher and his ultimately doomed mission to the colonies on Mars gives Tik-Tok access to criminal humans but it isn't until he is sold on to an aspiring couple that he fully realises his potential.

He is able to successfully divert police attention away from himself when a blind girl goes missing but his owners are suspicious of his new-found interest in art until he showed them how much they could make from him.

When he persuaded them that he should have his own studio in the city, he is able to start putting long thought out plans into action, though the discovery of the robotic hobos was an unexpected boost.

A series of daring raids allowed him to set up a huge mega corporation and bring him to the attention of the political establishment. Finally cumulating in a request to be the vice presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections. And then, who knows what?

This is a Gollancz Classic Science Fiction Edition

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