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Saturday 5 September 2020

Saturday Rave: No One by Diana Wynne Jones.

This short story appears in a collection called Warlock at the Wheel and other stories.

No One is set in the year 2084, and our eponymous hero is a robot whose task is to look after the child Edward, the young son of Mrs Barbara Scantion MP. No One is well-meaning, but unfortunately all the machines in the house, also fully equipped with what we presently call AI, are out to get him.

This exchange with the washing machine is still making me laugh after thirty years. No One is trying to unload the washing, which the washing machine has plaited together.

'What is this? I put in seven pairs of socks. I see fifteen socks in this twist, and five of them are odd ones. How is this done?'

'Us clothes washers have always done that,' said the machine. 'It takes real skill.'

This is a story full of jokes and crammed with creative energy. Highly recommended.

Word To Use Today: sock. In Old English socc meant a light shoe. The Greek word was sukkhos.

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