CL-123X, aka “Cal,” is a robot owned by a writer. As an experiment, the writer begins giving Cal himself the ability to write. From clumsy and hesitant beginnings, Cal’s understanding of humanity and skill as a writer grow apace until he becomes too aware of mankind and too cynical. His owner decides to call the experiment off—but it’s too late, as Cal has found a driving force more fundamental even than the Laws of Robotics.

This is actually a funny (and more than a little vicious) story, climaxing with Cal writing (of all things) a George and Azazel story, and the implication that so great is the urge to be a writer that it could even overcome the Three Laws is more an insight into Asimov’s own motivations than a serious description of how his robots work.

It is also one of the few stories worth bothering with in all of Gold.

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3 spaceships-and-suns3 spaceships-and-suns Cal
2 spaceships-and-suns1 spaceship-and-sun Gold
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