Cal (short story)

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"Cal" is a science fiction short story by American writer Isaac Asimov, which was first published in 1990. It was included in the 1995 collection Gold.

Plot summary[edit]

Cal is a robot whose master is an author. Cal, under the influence of the latter, decides to learn to write. His master outfits his mind with a dictionary and gives him advice and a few of his own books to read, as well as a grammatical dictionary. Cal tries to write mystery like his master, but is hampered by the Three Laws of Robotics; a robot's aversion to harming a human makes Cal cut out all violence, making the mystery rather inane. Instead, his master decides to give him the knack of recognizing humor. Cal writes a very good story on this new topic: so good, in fact, that his master is afraid of being put in the shade and 'playing second dog to a robot'. He orders the technician to remove Cal's abilities. Cal, hearing this, decides to kill his master, in defiance of the First Law, because apparently his new abilities take precedence: "I want to be a writer."

The humorous story written by Cal is in fact one of Asimov's Azazel stories.

External links[edit]