Ask Me Anything

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Knight, Damon. "Ask Me Anything." Galaxy 8 (May 1951). For translations, reprints, and collections, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database, as of February 2024, here.[1]

Briefly discussed and put into literary context in B. N. Malzberg's The Engines of the Night: Science Fiction in the Eighties p. 99, who notes the story's "kidnapped infants' brains put into cyborgs" (p. 99).

From the Pickering Public Library site and elsewhere on the web:

Knight's tortured cyborgs in ASK ME ANYTHING – the amputated brains of children placed in metallic contraptions designed for combat and killing – have a horrifying validity. There is anticipation here of the African child soldiers of late century[2] and the torture they both suffer and inflict, and here too is the crisis in the institutions which prepare these machines to serve. Knight was, like Nabokov, among the coldest and the hottest of writers; the cool anguish he depicts is understated yet unleashes waves of implication and the larger culture which would propitiate and abandon these child warriors is of course a refraction of a postwar culture which in the name of self-preservation had unleashed unspeakable horror upon a defeated enemy. Knight was prototypical of that postwar generation of writers who knew exactly what myths the technological horrors of Hiroshima and Belsen had unleashed in the name of liberty.[3][4]


RDE, finishing, 19Feb24