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Uncle Roy’s Computer Repairs and Used Robot Parts
by Martin L. Shoemaker

Roy Harris perched on a stool in front of his new shop door, very carefully filling in the letters that Martha had sketched out on the window. She had a steady eye for that sort of thing. He could stay within the lines, but don’t ask him to put the lines in the right places, at least not in the real world. His old hands shook too much.

Back in his old software design studio, every line had been meticulously placed. Customers found it easier to read the designs when he put in attention to detail.

Roy shook his head. He had no more software design customers. No more morning scrums, no more chasing the big defense contracts. No more of the daily rat race. He was retired now. READ MORE


Small Minds
by Tom Jolly

Chapter 1: OMF in LEO
There was a point—I’m not entirely certain when it happened—that I had collected together enough of my components to have a coherent thought beyond the scope of my most basic urges and needs.

It wasn’t long ago, perhaps a few Earth-days, that I was a single drifting component in orbit around the Earth, a microscopic cluster of a few million atoms, whose sole directive was to locate and attach myself to other similar components. Toward this effort, I could detect a very weak signal down below the milliwatt level from the other components, all seeking one another. Some components were specialized to pulse a “find me” signal periodically, while others, like me, had a built-in thruster and attitude control jets: all microscopic. Mere motes drifting in space, seeking out other motes in orbit. To someone on Earth, the “find me” signals would seem like noise, a susurration of electronic breath, too weak to mean anything, coming from too many sources and lacking any real data. READ MORE

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