Earth for Inspiration

Story, first published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1941

A failing science-fiction writer takes the advice of his robot valet, Jenkins, and visits Old Earth for inspiration. Like the Tin Woodman of Oz, a robot Philbert has been rusting for lack of oil on an ocean bottom for ages with only his brain working. The writer finds Philbert, hooks him up to Jenkins's body, and finds in the old robot an inexhaustible supply of plots. Also in this story, Simak introduces the idea of "wild" robots who run away from their human masters and try to build their own civilization, a concept Simak later uses in the conclusion of "City".

Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.30-31