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I'm searching for a short story about a military-type astronaut who hunts down a very sophisticated machine and can only defeat it by luring it into a trap where it tumbles into a large sand pit.

I really don't have much to go on. It was 45 years ago when I read the story, in a paperback probably, written at least ten years earlier because of what I remember about the technology in the story.

I've already searched through short stories by Bradbury, Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl, and Haldeman. I just can't remember enough about the battles and details of the pursuit just the way it ended.

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    Can you remember other details? Author? Year it was published? If not year, then maybe decade? Published online or in a sci-fi magazine? – RichS May 5 '17 at 21:27
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    I also recommend changing the title of your post to mention key details or setting for the story. – RichS May 5 '17 at 21:28
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    If you can mention plot details, character names, places, time period, or anything else from the story, you could help others help you. :-) – RichS May 5 '17 at 22:15
  • I really don't have much to go on it was 45 years ago when I read the story in a paperback probably written at least ten years earlier because of what I remember about the technology in the story. I've already searched through short stories by Bradbury, Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl, and Haldeman. I just can't remember enough about the battles and details of the pursuit just the way it ended. – terry soldner May 6 '17 at 2:05
  • @terrysoldner Thanks, that's at least a timeframe! I added your information to the question. – tobiasvl May 6 '17 at 7:28
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The Killer Thing by Kate Wilhelm.

Scientist working for some revolutionaries invents an advanced robot. It is captured by the authorities. It overhears them talking about disassembling the robot so it naturally kills everybody in the lab and steals a spaceship.

The military ship tasked with hunting the robot down chases it to a desert planet. The robot kills all the military men except for the protagonist. The man manages to make a sand trap which catches the robot.

  • Outstanding work! I knew the moment I saw the cover you had it. Mystery solved and I thank you very much. – terry soldner May 6 '17 at 16:44

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