Cobb Anderson, the creator of sentient robots, has decided to spend his "golden years" drunk in a 60-year-old hippy retirement community in Florida. The robots he invented refused to be slaves to humans, so he helped them set up their own city on the moon. One day, a robot sneaks back to earth to offer him immortality by downloading his nervous system into an Anderson-lookalike robot with a computer brain. Things only get weirder from here: live-brain eating punks capture an acidhead for a feast, a homicidal Mr. Frostee Robot terrorizes earthlings, and little robots fight against the big mainframes who want to absorb them, making the machine race stronger as a whole, but sacrificing individual souls in the process.
"Software" asks questions about consciousness, spirit, and flesh:
Which of these are "real?" Which can we preserve? Which can we synthesize?
"Software" is an unpretentious romp, taking place in a turn of the millennia America that never exploded, but fizzled out instead.
Somewhere between Douglas Adams and Philip K. Dick, the best thing about 'Software' is that it never loses its sense of fun.
1982, 164 pgs., pb, $2.95
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Software:
"We really gonna do it!" the green-haired girl exclaimed,
and giggled shrilly. "I ain't never ate no live brain
Software won the 1983 Philip K. Dick Award.