Kurd Lasswitz, “Bottled Lightning” (1902)

I am born. "Born? What sort of nonsense is it this time? One of the human stupidities that people still pride themselves in. I'm not born, was never born. Or, are you perhaps born, old mechanical timer?" "Tick-tock, tick-tock," said the clock in the counter of the electric current. "Speak more clearly, I don't understand you," called the …