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"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Creditor Jet-Balloon  
  A small, hovering device that hounds debtors.  

Note that in the following quote the word "tropic" is pronounced with a long "o" and derives from the Greek root word tropos for "turns".

A creditor balloon.

"Oh, there you are!" the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue confronting Rachmael; it descended, tropic to the eye-eating creature. Obviously, it had located its target.

"Ugh," the eye-eater mumbled in disgust; with its pseudopodia it batted irritably at the invader.

"You must keep your credit standing up and in good repute!" the balloon squealed as it bobbed and descended...

"As a matter of fact..." it drifted very slowly toward Rachmael. "I think I personally hounded you not too long ago, sir. You are -" It considered as, within, electronic circuits linked to its agency's central computer banks. "ben Applebaum!" it shrilled in triumph. "Zounds! I've caught two deadbeats AT THE SAME TIME!"

From Lies, Inc., by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Fantastic in 1964
Additional resources -

Earlier in the novel, Rachmael ben Applebaum is described as "A man pursued by those monster creditor balloons that bellow all your personal defects and secrets."

Dick was fascinated by the idea of robotic devices that somehow were able to home in on human beings; see this description of the homotropic news vending machine from his 1963 novel The Game Players of Titan.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Lies, Inc.
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Lies, Inc.
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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