Jake Folkers runs a farm for retired automobiles with positronic brains. He maintains them, keeps up their appearance, names them, cares for them. (Sally is his favorite.) When one Raymond J. Gellhorn comes to him with a proposition to remove the positronic brains from some of the cars to sell on the black market, Jake refuses. Gellhorn, however, comes back at night to steal what Jake will not sell, at which point Sally and the other cars come to Jake’s (and their own) defense.
This is a terrific story, one of the few in which positronic brains are placed in other than humanoid bodies (other exceptions include "Escape!” and "The Evitable Conflict” from I, Robot, Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter, and “—That Thou Art Mindful of Him”). The idea of a robotic car is not, of course, unique to Asimov, but it’s wrapped here in an interesting tale of how a robotic car really wouldn’t need much by the way of theft deterrents (why use the Club when the car can simply refuse to drive for the thief—or chase him down?). It’s interesting here that Asimov is willing to abandon the First Law to provide a chilling quality to the ending, too.
"Sally” is also one of Asimov’s stories to be turned into book form in the 1980’s (see Sally), and is a good choice for young readers.
|Nightfall and Other Stories|
|The Complete Robot|
|Those Amazing Electronic Thinking Machines|
|The Asimov Chronicles|
|Complete Stories, The, Vol. 1|