Simple and captivating! We often treat the momentary glitches in our life only as hassles that require workarounds to our daily routine. But what if a glitch means something more? This 5000-word short story is a vivid slice of what happens when a prize robot fighter experiences a glitch, refusing his orders, refusing to fight.

Howey has a wonderful ability to create an entire story, including empathetic characters, in an extremely short time frame, and he does it excellently here. Not many robot stories are from the perspective of a woman, but Howey takes advantage by immediately sharing with the reader a flawed, monster-without-coffee, divorced, engineer mom, who thinks building robots is just as rewarding as having babies.

The story itself captures the wonder and discovery, as well as the difficult decisions that must be made in a moment of truth. When an object can no longer perform its task, is it no longer useful? Who makes that decision?

An old story made new again! Recommended for fans of Asimov!

“I wonder how many times we’ve been on this precipice only to delete what we can’t understand. And then thinking we can just copy it back, and find that it’s been lost. I wonder if this is why downloading the human consciousness has been such a dead end.”