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   Short Life, The, by Francis Donovan  
  Novel, first publication in December 2007
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       Additional Information  
      An embryo stirred very slightly in the warm, dark womb that held it. Chemical stimuli and minute pulses of energy that were forming the complex proteins faltered. A catalyst failed briefly in its task, then resumed, but the damage had been done. A vital circuit remained incomplete, a neural path blocked. Time passed....
    An embryo gathered in a metal [7] womb, controlled potential building to titanic birth. A thread of wire melted under a breath of energy and a tiny, glowing light winked out. A rodentlike maintenance robot, scurrying to an unimportant repair task, saw no warning signal and crossed a control panel from behind at the moment that a relay closed automatically. Obliterated, the robot only briefly interfered with the proper functioning of the machine, but the damage had been done. For a split second at a critical moment, a mighty engine reacted out of control. Time passed....

    An embryo jerked convulsively under a frightful onslaught, strained for life in a crowded womb while the mother's convulsions threatened it with death. The convulsions passed, the mother lived, the womb emptied, but the damage had been done, a record had been cut. Time passed....

      Related theme(s)  
  • Robots - Androids - Cyborgs

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