Key Item - jaguar-language-arts

“Key Item”
By Isaac Asimov
This story is science fiction:
• The setting is an invented time and place.
• Events are based on some scientific discovery.
• The story examines the relationship or the
interaction between technology and humans,
and the effect this has on human minds.
About the Author: Isaac Asimov
• Born in Russia and immigrated to the U.S., grew
up in Brooklyn, NY
• Studied chemistry in college
• Author of 500 books! Including science fiction,
mystery, nonfiction science, history, and more!
• Known for robot stories
• Wrote often about space travel but was afraid to
fly. (He flew only twice in his lifetime.)
Preview Vocabulary
• stolid: unemotional
• efficient: when you produce what you want with
least amount of effort; well-organized
• sufficient: when somebody does just enough to
satisfy himself/herself
• desperation: having extreme anxiety or worry
• diffidently: shyly, having a lack of confidence
Setting up the story:
The world’s economy depends on Multivac, a
complicated computer system. One day Multivac
refuses to respond to a command program. Two
computer technicians, Weaver and Nemerson,
are part of a team trying to fix Multivac. You will
quickly notice that they disagree about what to
do…Will they fix the system in time? Or will the
world suffer from a computer meltdown? What
are they missing? What is the key item?