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"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes."
- Larry Niven

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."

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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