The Word of the Day comes from "AT THE EDGE OF THE SOLID WORLD" by Daniel Davis Wood. It is shortlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Award.
noun plural noun: automata
* a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being. "a collection of 19th century French automata: acrobats, clowns, and musicians"
* a machine which performs a range of functions according to a predetermined set of coded instructions. "sophisticated automatons continue to run factory assembly lines"
* used in comparisons to refer to a person who seems to act in a mechanical or unemotional way. "like an automaton, she walked to the door"