Books: The Infernal Machine

LONELIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (238 pp.)—Kenneth Fearing—Harcourt, Brace ($3).

Mikki was what Ellen Vaughn had instead of God. He was a strange deity chock-full of panels, bobbins, and spools of wire. His memory was perfect and his playback repertory ran to 463,635 recorded hours. Ellen's late father, an audio-research addict, had fed Mikki everything: Bach, stock-market predictions, forgotten pre-Edison records. "Some jukebox!" said her younger brother Charles, admiringly. But Mikki was more than a giant jukebox; he was first cousin to all the electronic brain machines whose touted destiny is to make modern man obsolete.

Without conscious malice, Mikki just...

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