One Story No. 77 is “Prayer for the Long Life of Certain Inanimate Objects” by Paul Maliszewski. On the surface, the story is unique. The father of two sons builds robots, machines that the sons, especially the older of the two boys, resent. But they clearly inherit his obsession, not with robots necessarily, but with things, and have a hard time seeing the humanity of their parents.
“The husband withdrew to his office. He was working on plans for a small, nimble robot, something he called a wall-climber. Nothing workable ever came of it, but for months he saw it fully realized in his dreams. It hung from imaginary ceilings. It changed light bulbs that were hard to reach and wholly hypothetical. He was not consumed by his work; he fed himself to it.”
While the boys do achieve a certain amount of self-realization, the arc of this story is pretty low, and ultimately not one of my favorites.
Next up: Harpur Palate