For Want of a Nail

United States
Publication Type
Technologies referenced
Description (in English)

For Want of a Nail is a short story about an AI, Cordelia, tasked with storing memories and handling all information and communication for an entire family on a generational spaceship. When her transmitter socket gets accidentally damaged, her wrangler, Rava, and Rava's brother Ludoviko set out on a quest to find a replacement for the socket. Due to circumstances beyond both Rava's and Cordelia's control, it is Cordelia that eventually gets replaced by a spare AI. The gravity of the situation is accentuated by Cordelia's lifelike hologram, which has been programmed to mimic human reactions and body language, some of which she can use consciously. The fact that this is her programming is also highlighted any time her body language is mentioned. Even though Cordelia gets into trouble by only following her programming (which has been modified by Uncle Georgo for his own goals), the family decides they would rather replace her than have two years of their memories wiped out from the ship's long-term memory. For want of a socket, Cordelia was lost. 

Added tech Biometrics, because it is in one of the MV-situations (Linda)

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