Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mark Niemann-Ross' "Humnity by Proxy" (novelette): Illustrating good engineering

If you are an engineer involved in some sort of product development, you'll probably love it. Even general audiences should be able to love the first of its several linked stories; it's very beautiful.

Story summary.

There are actually several linked stories there - linked in the sense that a specific man's relatives appear in several stories. But linked primarily because of "sawhorse" - a gadget that's a non-hominid but flexible robot that can be built with nearly today's technology. Individual stories are about sawhorse in action or under develpment:
  1. An old woman in an old-age home. Very funny story.
  2. Soldiers caught in an ambush in the field. They'll arrive safely because of ingenuity of one of them & of some engineers who built the "sawhorse" that's carrying their load.
  3. Story of the original engineering of the gadget, including some selling theatrics. Includes the story of an injured soldier whose life was ruined because of injuries, injured because some explosives sensors in his truck were not well tested in common field conditions.

Fact sheet.

First published: Analog, January-February 2012.
Rating: A.
Added to my "best of 2012" list.


mnr said...


I'm pleased you liked the story. It's my first solo flight in the pages of Analog.

Mark Niemann-Ross