Turkus

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Half-android amateur musician, somewhat inadvertently, from the 1967 science fiction novel The Sword Swallower by Ron Goulart. He had an accident at age 15, and was fitted with surplus android parts from an unnamed android singer.

Loud, across the hall someone suddenly began singing. "Death don't have no mercy in this land. No, death don't have no mercy in this land." The voice was deep, burred. Accompanied by the sharp sound of a metal-stringed guitar.

Jolson looked out past the unlockable door of the apartment. Part of Kath's thin face showed at the door opposite. "Over here, Will. Turkus is back and we were trying, you know, to cheer up old Mr. Grout."

"You sure you picked the right material?" The Grout apartment had been made from the entertainment room and adjoining bath.

"That was Turkus but he can't help it," said the girl after Jolson had entered.

Turkus was six feet tall, seated on a viewing chair, a huge metal guitar on his knee. His strumming arm was pocked chrome from the elbow down, as was what showed of his right leg. "Kath told me you saved her from the hamlets," said Turkus. A shoulder twitched and he began playing again. "It's a mean old world to try to live in, a mean old world to try to live in." He stopped, smiled slowly. "Sorry. Some of my parts used to belong to a circuit-riding android singer back home. He must have gone in for a lot of old country hymns. Fairly frequently, I start doing them. I've made some additions and emendations as I grew up, but I can't seem to shake his repertoire."


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