I read this somewhere in the 1990s. I'm pretty sure it was a paperback book that had multiple stories. It was set somewhere in the future where the raising of babies was relegated to robots in factories. There was some sort of a crazy killer (I want to say he was explicitly bestial). The protagonist retraces the killer's route and finds his point of origin in a factory that has a faulty mothering robot where the safety insulation had peeled back, perhaps on the nursing part of the apparatus so that the baby was repeatedly stabbed even as it tried to feed. This was established as the reason for the killer. I want to say that the mothering robot was gorilla-like with fur, possibly referencing the Pit of Despair experiment.

1 Answer 1


The book is Mallworld, by Somtow Sucharitkul (also known as S.P. Somtow).

The story is "The Vampire of Mallworld", wherein it is revealed that:

as an infant, the eponymous character suckled at a broken nursing apparatus: "The plastiflesh had broken off, rotted away somehow, revealing the pointed steel of the milk-injector underneath, sharp and ugly."

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  • That's the one! Thank you.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 20:25

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