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Escape Pod Flash: Beachcomber

By Mike Resnick
Read by Elie Hirschman
Discuss on our forums.
First appeared in Baen’s Universe, October 2008.
All stories by Mike Resnick.
All stories read by Elie Hirschman.

Arlo didn’t look much like a man. (Not all robots do, you know.) The problem was that he didn’t act all that much like a robot.

Rated PG. Contains hopes that will never be fulfilled.

Comments (9)

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  1. L33tminion says:

    Oh, the beautiful irony of that last sentence. Good story!

  2. phignewton says:

    darrnit… i think i missed the point of this one.. listened to the ending four five times an still didnt get it…

  3. Jennifer says:

    Wow, sad story.

    The point is that the human being would rather be a bored agoraphobic robot sitting in an office never going anywhere and never appreciating the outdoors. Ouch.

  4. Good writing, good reading. A nice commentary on us computer geeks sitting here in front of a computer screen, not experiencing life, not being able to see beauty in simple things….hey!!! I’m going outside!

  5. scatterbrain says:

    An old theme but brilliantly written–so is Resnick’s work…

  6. Mitch says:

    To me, this highlighted the irony of vacations. When you go somewhere to relax on a vacation- you’re going some place that’s the everyday normal workplace of someone else. Their vacation spot just might be where you work.

    Or more succinctly, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    Lots of contrasts- the human who didn’t understand beauty, longing, and sacrifice. Good story, good reading!

  7. Connor Moran says:

    This one eloquently speaks of the value of brevity–I think it’s tackling many of the same themes as Resnick’s own “Robot’s Don’t Cry.” But not only is it much shorter, I think it explores those themes more poignantly and is just as clear without having to be quite as blunt or explicit.

    I guess it doesn’t take a lot of words to be heartbreaking.

  8. […] Resnick’s flash “Beachcomber” (read by Elie Hirschman) tells of a travel-agent robot enhanced with artificial enthusiasm, […]

  9. MasterThief says:

    But what happened to Arlo’s stapler?