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"I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander."
- Isaac Asimov

Cube Being  
  A living being comprised of linked cubes.  

Peering down at the plain, as near the ship as he could, Lundoon saw that it was all composed of tiny, identical cubes, carefully laid to form a tilelike surface.

His throat stuck. For the shimmering plain had heaved up. As if hurled by an explosive blast, a cloud of little diamond blocks came flying toward the ship. They rained down upon the flat circular deck, outside the conning tower. And they fell in a very curious way.

Lundoon had seen that each one-inch cube was joined to eight of its fellows by tiny threads of incandescence that ran from corner to corner. And they didnít fall at random on the deck, but piled themselves into a grotesque mockery of the human form.

It looked like something a child might have built, with a million nursery blocks.

It towered twenty feet tall. It was weirdly terrible.

One stride brought it to the observa- tion tower. The ship shuddered to its weight. A thin rope of bright yellow fire ran from it back over the rail to the hole it had left in the plain, joining these cubes to the others there.

The face of it was outside the ports.

The reporter stared at it with a sick fascination. Hard bright cubes, strung together with threads of fire, made a massive nose, bulging many-faceted eyes, the square travesty of a chin. The thing looked like the creation of a surrealist sculptor gone mad. And it was infinitely horrible.

A fantastic arm of cubes came up, made some incomprehensible gesture.

From The Infinite Enemy, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

Compare to Stanislaw Lem, who wrote about a shape-forming swarm of tiny metal particles in his 1954 novel The Invincible. See also the Robot Cells (Crystal-Shaped Modules) from 1987 work by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. Don't miss the living metal cubes from The Metal Monster (1920) by Abraham Merritt.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Infinite Enemy
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to The Infinite Enemy
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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