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Quinby, Dugg. Dugg Quinby was created by “H.H. Holmes,” the pseudonym of William Anthony Parker White (Nick Noble, Fergus O’Breen, Sister Ursula), and appeared in “Q.U.R.” (Astounding, Mar. 1943) and “Robinc” (Astounding, Sep. 1943).

It’s a hot summer in the Metropolitan District in Oklahoma, and everything seems to be going wrong. The robots are breaking down, there’s tension between humans and Martians and Venusians, and the head troubleshooter of Robinc, the world’s biggest producer of robots, is overwhelmed with work, and unhappy. During a bar fight the troubleshooter meets a blond boy, Dugglesmarter H. Quinby, who has a brilliant idea: Robinc should produce robots in a variety of other shapes, whatever is most efficient for the robot’s job (tentacles for a barkeep robot, for example), rather than solely in human form, which is Robinc’s practice. When Robinc begins doing this, the robots fall in love with their new shapes. The troubleshooter quits Robinc to form Q.U.R., or Quinby’s Usuform Robots, with Quinby.

But there’s a problem: according to the Planetary Civil Code, the only robots allowed to be built are those according to patents held by Robinc. Fortunately, the Head of the Planetary Council is in trouble—his private decoder is breaking down, and there’s trouble with Martian mining concessions—and Quinby and the narrator are there to help solve his problems. In exchange, the Head gets the Code rewritten, and Q.U.R. is born. In the sequel Q.U.R. has to deal with Robinc striking back at Q.U.R.

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