A planet that contains an abandoned, forgotten resort with a feudal theme-the inhabitants are a computer controller and robots that contain human brain engrams of convicted criminals.

The story concern's the attempt of normal human pioneers to settle in the area and the computer using the robots to destroy them because it believes that the resort, abandoned for centuries must be maintained for when the guests return.

One of the robots "the hunter" rebels against the computer to save the life of a female captive and to assist the humans to win the fight. He does this by throwing an animated toy ball into the cage housing the computer thus causing his engram-ed robot dogs to jump into the cage and thus destroy the electronics.

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    Welcome to SFF.SE. Consider reading taking the tour and reading this Story-ID guide. I've edited your 1-sentence-paragraph question body and broke it down into readable chunks.
    – Voronwé
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


Fantasy and science fiction 40 Anniversary Ed. "Steel dogs"

Ray Aldridge, one of the most inventive new writers in SF, offers his longest and strongest story to date, about an abandoned resort planet controlled by ghostly machines and a young woman who falls into the hands of a steel huntsman and his dogs.

From an excerpt I found online:

As they passed the glowing nexus, his hand darted into his hip compartment, came out with the magic ball. He gave himself no time to reconsider, in the same motion, he tossed it over the wall into the nexus. The tiny homunculus inside shrieked piercingly. Aandred shouted, «Fetch!»

Instantly, Droam began to kill him, and he felt his hulk collapse. But before he was quite dead, Droam had transferred its attention to the dogs.

It was too late. One dog stiffened and spasmed in mid-leap, but the rest landed on the force bubble. The bubble collapsed with a flat, snapping implosion, spilling the dogs onto the surface of Droam's intellect. They scrambled after the ball, floundered through the delicate crystalline strands, shattered Droam into a cloud of glittering shards.

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    Welcome to SFF:SE. Can you tell us why you think this is the answer, and who the author is?
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 1:46
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    Seems like you might be the OP of this question. If so, you might want to look into merging your accounts. You can post your own answer and even 'accept' it, to let people know the right answer was found.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 1:57
  • I added a bit of detail found online.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 2:09
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    That isn't the 40th anniversary edition of F&SF. Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 21:17

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