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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Wandering Mine  
  A landmine with legs.  

Wandering mines, you took them out on the edge of the desert, set them down and activated them, like in a sandy wash. And they settled down in the sand and rock, burying themselves, until sand covered them. And then you went away, and the enemy entered the area. And after a preset time, if nothing had crossed them, they dug themselves up, scuttled across the Kalahari on their crab legs, found a new place and buried themselves again. You could preset the range, bury a beacon to keep them fairly close - but the beacon could alert the enemy, so mostly they were set at random, set so as not to wander more then a couple of hundred meters from where they were first buried.
From Half the Day is Night, by Maureen F. McHugh.
Published by Tor in 1994
Additional resources -

Thanks to Bob Yeager for submitting this item.

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