“Farewell to the Master,” Harry Bates, 1940

Farewell to the Master,” Harry Bates, 1940 – An alien ship lands and a “picture reporter” is determined to get the story.  Two beings emerge from the ship, a humanoid and a gigantic, green robot. The human barely introduces himself (“I am Klatu and this is Gnut”) before being shot.  Gnut remains outside the ship, unmoving; it is impervious to physical force and unresponsive to communication attempts.  However, the reporter discovers that it goes inside the ship at night.  Eventually, it is revealed that Gnut is attempting to clone Klatu using a recording of his voice; however, the recording is flawed and the first copy of Klatu dies.  Fearing what this might mean for humanity, the reporter urges Gnut to tell his master’s people that Klatu’s death was an accident.  Gnut corrects him: “You misunderstand. I am the master.”

Comments:  Comments on photography, “recording” evidence, and “reading” the body.  The basis for the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still; however, the film switches the master with the servant (in the original, the robot, not the human, is the master).

Author: Wikipedia: “Harry Bates (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 9, 1900 – September 1981) was an American science fiction editor and writer. His 1940 short story “Farewell to the Master” was the basis of the well-known 1951 science fiction movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1940-1945, automata/robots, communication, photo/film/image, the body, the Other. Bookmark the permalink.

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