Dying to find this story I read in the lates 70s or 80s. A fighter pilot from a space battle crashes and takes refuge in a Hab or pod meant for emergencies. Unfortunately, every time he moves, the maintenance robot/drone thinks he is a threat and attacks him. He ultimately defeats the robot by shining his flashlight on a panel where the robots computer resides. The robot attacks the movement and disables itself.


1 Answer 1


Life Hutch by Harlan Ellison

fighter pilot takes refuge in a life hutch. Maintenance robot has malfunctioned so it attacks anything that moves. Pilot is wounded by robot and figures out that if he moves again the robot will kill him. Pilot blinks his flashlight on panel containing robots brain.

  • Also the (unaccepted) answer to this old question. The plot is described at some length here. The reviewer (Earl Terry Kemp) is not impressed: "So, after several shudders, a few cringes, and a steady stream of wincing, this pathetic tale is over. Aren’t you glad? Thank god…. It really should not have been reprinted. It would have been best to leave it buried, left in the trash heap of hackwork better forgotten. "
    – user14111
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 6:45
  • Amazing! Thank you. I have been trying to figure this out for weeks.
    – Bairnt
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 11:58

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