“Who Can Replace a Man?” Brian Aldiss, 1958 – Humanity has destroyed itself and machines form a social order based on a hierarchy of intelligence.
Comments: Read in A Century of Science Fiction. Editor Damon Knight comments that the story is one of pathos and humor. He adds that Aldiss, like Ballard, was fascinated with the “ugly and grotesque”, but here “Aldiss’s mood is less savage than usual; his robots are among the most believable, and most appealing, in the literature.”
Author: Wikipedia: “Brian Wilson Aldiss, OBE (born 18 August 1925) is an English author of both general fiction and science fiction. His byline reads either Brian W. Aldiss or simply Brian Aldiss. Greatly influenced by science fiction pioneer H. G. Wells, Aldiss is a vice-president of the international H. G. Wells Society. He is also (with Harry Harrison) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group. Aldiss was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2000, and has received two Hugo Awards, one Nebula Award, and one John W. Campbell Memorial Award. His influential works include the short story “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long”, the basis for the Stanley Kubrick-developed Steven Spielberg film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” For an overview of Aldiss’s themes, see Joseph Milicia’s introduction to Starswarm. Gardner Dozois summarizes Aldis’s “old earth” stories in his introduction to The Furthest Horizon.