Looking for futuristic short story about a man who brings a new device home called a "computer" which soon takes an increasingly central role in its owner's life to the point of literally reaching out with tentacle wires and pulling him inside/consuming him at the end.

It was written sometime in the 1970s as I read it in elementary school in either 1979 or 1980. I remember being actually horrified at the above visual but took it as warning about the encroachment of/dependency on technology into our lives (crude LED watches were all the rage that year!) and that certain precious things, now considered mundane, could be sacrificed for convenience. And that we'd become dependent and isolated over time.

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    Any info about where you read it? Book from elementary school library? Magazine? May 14, 2019 at 13:16
  • I don't remember. Maybe a book or Omni magazine.
    – William
    May 17, 2019 at 9:38
  • We sound similar in ages, and this is just a guess. I remember a book titled "10 Top Tales" when I was in grammar school/jr. high. I recall that at least one of the stories was Science Fiction, and they all may have been. Perhaps it was one of those stories, if the title sounds familiar at all. Just a guess!
    – shawnml2
    May 17, 2019 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


While it doesn't use the word "computer," Lewis Padgett's "The Twonky" has this plot. It was first published in the September 1942 issue of Astounding, but it's been reprinted in many anthologies. It's available on the Internet Archive.

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