Dear Bradbury Board Members, I am trying to remember the name and author of a short story that I read a while back in my high school days. The setting, as I remember, involves a group of people eating lunch at a restaurant. Next, some of the group have just been to the bank, and find that the bank has made an error of large deposits to each of their accounts. Then, the discussion goes on about machines possibly taking over the world. As the discussion continues, the lights start to dim. This could possibly be Heinlien, Asimov, or Clarke, but I may be wrong. Any help would be much appreciated.
29 July 2008, 07:09 PM
Could this possibly be from Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke? Thanks again.
29 July 2008, 07:09 PM
One never knows, do one?
This is unfamiliar to me.
29 July 2008, 07:26 PM
Doug, It was my High School English Teachers that introduced us to Bradbury, Huxley, Heinlein, and Clarke. I'm sure it was one of these authors. Thanks for trying!
01 August 2008, 01:48 AM
greenray, I'm not going to be much help, but just want to point out that Childhood's End is a novel, but you said you were looking for a short story.
In high school we used to read short stories and parts of books. Thus, this could have been one chapter of a novel. As I further recall, the lunch gathering included men who had just come from the bank with their passbooks. Passbooks were a fancy name for what we now call a receipt . (This was before the time of the ATM.)They were all happy that their account balances went way up, a bank error in their favor. As the conversation continues, one man speaks of the theory that maybe one day machines will become smarter than man, and will take over the world, electronically. You can probably guess what happens next.
P.S. Phil, Great truthdig.com Bradbury video on your web site. The Terminator owes Ray big time! Today is the first Sunday that the LA Times has no individual book section, which Ray comments on in the vid clips. Tink,
They never actually give the name of the bank, but it wasn't Indymac!This message has been edited. Last edited by: greenray,
03 August 2008, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by greenray: The Terminator owes Ray big time!
Ray told this very story over Italian suppers right after leaving ComicCon.
03 August 2008, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by greenray: ...Thus, this could have been one chapter of a novel...
greenray, I have an ebook version of Childhood's End, so in light of the above I did a search for occurrences of the word "bank" in the hope it might identify the scene you describe. Alas, no such scene. (Only a few occurrences of the word "bank", but none in a scene remotely similar to what you described.)
I have to say that the scene feels vaguely familiar, as if I may have read the story in question. But I don't think Childhood's End can be it.
Mrs B is in Manchester as we speak! She'll be bringing back loads of PG, and probably malt loaf, Battenberg Cakes, and maybe even Lancashire cheese, but I don't think she'll risk smuggling that wonderful bacon. Tea for sure, though. She must have it.