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My memory of this story is extremely vague. I don't think I ever read/listened to the whole story either. I would have had it as a child in maybe 1995-6. What I do remember is that it was both a book and a cassette, and the book has illustrations.

If I remember right it was quite serious and a bit dark. It was set on a different planet and there were large robots or machines. I can't remember if they were autonomous or if the people in the (possibly a mining?) colony controlled them. Part of the plot involved swarms of small creatures (maybe robots too?) that could eat metal.

The art was quite epic if I remember right, and the cassette had sound effects and acting as opposed to just being read out.

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  • Can you recall whether it was part of a series or set in a particular "universe"? I mean for example might it have been part of the Mortal Engines series, or a Doctor Who audio book, or ...? Aug 20, 2018 at 2:31
  • Sorry I really can't remember anymore, it was definitely on a different planet, they maybe lived in caves? Underground facilities? The book had full colour illustrations if I remember correct in quite a detailed classic sci fi style. I don't think it was part of another universe or anything. Aug 20, 2018 at 20:24
  • Well, it's not a lot to go on. If you can remember anything else at all - maybe the publisher, names of any of the characters, and so on, that would help! Based on what you've provided, there's a tiny chance it's one of: Aug 22, 2018 at 1:00

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EDIT: My mistake it was a short story by Anatoly Denprov, not Isaac Asimov.

Page 13 of Die Insel der Krebse (The island of crabs)*

"It is difficult to describe what followed. Several machines fell...trying to get hold of a scrap of metal...striving to get into the middle. Within a few minutes the place where he had thrown the metal had become the arena of a terrible battle, which more and more robots came running to join."

*one translation

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