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I read this book in the early '80s, but it came from my father's bookshelf so could be older. The title was along the lines of 'The (n)th (something) Science Fiction Collection'. I can remember two of the stories in the collection.

One was 'Doll' in which each person had a surrogate doll that protected them from disease and otherwise bolstered their immunity to a disease-ridden environment. The doll would die instead of the owner when a disease was contracted. A village doctor had to shape a new doll from a formless material to replace a dead doll. Each time a baby was born he had to fashion a new one immediately to protect the baby which required great concentration and caused stress to his own doll. In a particular scene he had to make 3 consecutive dolls for a new-born which was suffering until the final doll survived.

Another story which might have been the last in the book may have been titled 'Voyo' or possibly something like 'Hunter'. It was about a damaged 'Voyo', an autonomous AI military tank, that was being hunted by a human soldier in a fiercely hostile environment.

7

Andromeda I (1976), edited by Peter Weston

The title doesn't match but both stories you mention appear to be inside of it.

"Doll" by Terry Greenhough

Next up is Doll by Terry Greenhough. What can I say about this one? Well, if you are up for an extended description of an alien birthing ceremony involving ‘dolls’ that Cyric the moulder shapes to symbiotically link with new-born children, then this will be right up your street. There are bonus black slugs in there as well. Yes, this is one of those stories that painstakingly and pointlessly describes an alien situation or setting to no particular end.

SF Magazines, Andromeda #1, 1977

"The Giant Killers" by Andrew M. Stephenson

The Giant Killers by Andrew M. Stephenson is a long story about three military men on a war-torn future Earth being sent out to download the intelligence from an enemy ‘Voyo,’ a robot fighting vehicle similar to the ones found in Keith Laumer’s ‘Bolo’ stories. Their pursuit takes them through an African landscape that is now inimical to man, seeded as it is with a variety of terrible futuristic weapons such as the tackymat:

SF Magazines, Andromeda #1, 1977


I found this by using isfdb's advanced title search feature looking for a title that is exactly "doll". Of the returned results only the story by Terry Greenhough fit the timescale and it only appears in this anthology (and its later "editions") according to isfdb.

  • The other stories in that anthology don't ring any bells, but the two you have highlighted are definitely the ones I remember. Is it possible this might have been released in the UK under a different title - in the format I remember such as 'the nth andromeda anthology'? – Alopex Mar 28 at 17:15
  • @Alopex I'm going solely off by what I've found online so I don't know more than this unfortunately. isfdb only shows both those stories as only being found in that collection. – TheLethalCarrot Mar 28 at 17:17
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    I read some more of the synopses and I'm pretty sure (35 years later) that must be the book. Ordering it now - if I can find it available. Marking as answer, thanks. – Alopex Mar 28 at 17:30

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