StarShipSofa No 637 Doug C. Souza

July 1, 2020 by Gary Dowell
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Main Fiction: “The Callisto Stakes” by Doug C. Souza.

This story first appeared in Asimov’s (September 2018).

You can find Doug C. Souza at and He loves hearing from readers of his work, so don’t ever hesitate to send him a question or comment. Just watch out; he’s been known to write a few paragraphs when responding–especially if it’s a question about writing and how to get into the business. Doug C. Souza was super-stoked to have “The Callisto Stakes” featured in Asimov’s, and is excited to have it read with StarShipSofa. Many of his stories have appeared in the publication and podcast, which is an honor since both are done so well. Doug says, “When I got the news ‘The Callisto Stakes’ would be performed on StarShipSofa, I walked around the house shouting cheers, in some words that can’t be broadcast. Luckily, my four-year-old was at preschool at the time.”

Story origin: “I started several versions of the story, and then found that the nanos were the most interesting protagonists since they had the toughest struggle. Then the thought struck me of how much tougher their job would be if their host didn’t care much for his own life.

“I hadn’t read a story from the nanos’ POV, so I was stoked to write one. I’m sure I’ll get some emails listing titles of stories with this same idea, but honestly, it was original to me at the time. There are some great stories out there where the AI — whether in a fighter jet or interwebs — ends up making the moral choice in contrast to their human counterpart. As an optimist, this gives me hope that maybe the AI being developed will aid and guide humankind rather than travel back in time to terminate us.”

Narrated by Will Stagl.

This is Will Stagl’s second contribution to StarShipSofa. He remains sequestered in Tucson, Arizona, somewhere between his house and the post-apocalyptic bunker he calls The Liquid Center. He’d like to give a shout out to his drummer Stacey, who would never let a little thing like a pandemic stand between her and her throne. 

Fact: Fiction Crawler No 18 by Matthew Sanborn Smith

inks to the stories:

Thirty-Three Percent Joe by Suzanne Palmer

Day Million by Fred Pohl

Maybe Look Up by Jess Barber

The Seventh Voyage by Stanislaw Lem

Joyride by Amman Sabet

The Space Traders by Derrick Bell

Cyberpunk by Bruce Bethke


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