By Steven Brust
Brokedown Palace is a stand-alone myth on the planet of Steven Brust's bestselling Vlad Taltos novels.
Once upon a time…far to the East of the Dragaeran Empire, 4 brothers governed in Fenario:
King Laszlo, an exceptional man—though probably a bit mad; Prince Andor, a shrewdpermanent man—though might be a bit shallow; Prince Vilmos, a robust man—though maybe a bit silly; and Prince Miklos, the youngest brother, might be a little—no, a lot-stubborn.
Once upon a time there have been 4 brothers—and a goddess, a wizard, an enigmatic conversing stallion, a truly hungry dragon—and a crumbling, broken-down palace with hungry jhereg circling overhead. And then…
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Robots were developed to replace human labor and now only two human executives are required for each station. ” His hand went up and the metal visi-lid snapped back into place. Powell returned to the table and polished an apple upon his sleeve before biting into it. The red glow of the robot’s eyes held him. “Do you expect me,” said Cutie slowly, “to believe any such complicated, implausible hypothesis as you have just outlined? ” Powell sputtered apple fragments onto the table and turned red. “Why damn you, it wasn’t a hypothesis.
Good. ” Another consideration, and another slow answer. ” “You will find this robot and order him to return. ” Donovan clutched at Powell’s sleeve. ” “Because I want Speedy back, nitwit. ” His clumsy arms had come together with a thwack, blunt fingers interlacing. Powell stared and then pinched at his mustache. “Uh . . ” Donovan’s eyes bulged. “We’ve got to ride him? I can’t see— Yes, I do. ” “That’s what I’ve been thinking,” muttered Donovan. “We can’t go out on the surface, with a robot or without.
For one thing, the unions would never let us. You see,” he tapped his pince-nez into one palm argumentatively, “what the labor unions don’t realize—and I say this as a man who has always been very sympathetic with the labor movement in general—is that the advent of the robot, while involving some dislocation to begin with, will inevitably—” “Yes, Struthers,” said Weston, “but about that section of the factory you speak of—may we see it? ” “Yes! ” Mr. Struthers replaced his pince-nez in one convulsive movement and gave vent to a soft cough of discomfiture.