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"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Talking Pamphlet  
  An instructional pamphlet that instructs you through ordinary speech.  

Madge Rubichek had a problem; her husband. But, she was nothing if not methodical, so she acquired a do-it-yourself murder kit.

Did you ever have a problem trying to both read the instructions for something and perform the actions stated in the instructions - at the same time?

Marge was somewhat unprepared when the pamplet spoke to her.

"Uh, where are you?" Madge asked nervously.

"Where am I where? the pamphlet responded in confusion.

"Yes, precisely," she responded.

"Dear Purchaser, you are perplexing me," the pamphlet cried. "If you wish to carry forward smartly to the objective for which this Kit was designed, please do not strain my conversational and analytical faculties."

Technovelgy from Ellison Wonderland, by Harlan Ellison.
Published by Signet in 1974
Additional resources -

This marvelously dark story loses nothing in the years since its first publication. Harlan Ellison is not, strictly speaking, a hard science fiction writer. He says he writes more in the style of magical realism.

Whatever the genre, don't miss do-it-yourself from this fine book of short stories.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ellison Wonderland
  More Ideas and Technology by Harlan Ellison
  Tech news articles related to Ellison Wonderland
  Tech news articles related to works by Harlan Ellison

Talking Pamphlet-related news articles:
  - Books of Hope Talk to Everyone
  - Interactive Paper Four Sounds Off

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Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

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