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Looking for a science fiction short story I read a while back, where the last human is connected to his star ship which is programmed to save him as much as possible, in a time where humanity is hunted down by other space faring species.

It was almost poem-like and kept repeating something like “run man run.” Could be a very old story.

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    Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit any more details. Specifically things like when you read it, or where? – Edlothiad May 24 '17 at 15:46
  • It doesn't match the question body, but the title reminded me of the ending of The Eighth Room by Stephen Baxter, which you wouldn't be able to tell from the linked summary. – DCShannon May 24 '17 at 19:57
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Looking for a science fiction short story I read a while back,

"Stars, Won't You Hide Me?", a short story by Ben Bova, also the answer to this question; first published in Worlds of Tomorrow, January 1966, available at the Internet Archive. Any of these covers look familiar?

where the last human is connected to his star ship

The ship was hurt, and Holman could feel its pain. He lay fetal-like in the contoured couch, his silvery uniform spider-webbed by dozens of contact and probe wires connecting him to the ship so thoroughly that it was hard to tell where his own nervous system ended and the electronic networks of the ship began.

The man has a telepathic conversation with an alien Observer (not of the species that is pursuing him):

"They're going to kill every last one of us."

There is only one of you remaining.

The words flashed through Holman. "I'm the only one . . . the last one?"

No answer.

which is programmed to save him as much as possible,

COURSE INSTRUCTIONS ARE REQUIRED.

"What difference does it make? Why run anymore?"

YOUR DUTY IS TO PRESERVE YOURSELF UNTIL ORDERED TO DO OTHERWISE.

Holman heard himself laugh. "Ordered? By who? There's nobody left."

THAT IS AN UNPROVED ASSUMPTION.

"The war was billions of years ago," Holman said. "It's been over for eons. Mankind died in that war. Earth no longer exists. The sun is a white dwarf star. We're anachronisms, you and me . . ."

THE WORD IS ATAVISM.

"The hell with the word! I want to end it. I'm tired."

IT IS TREASONABLE TO SURRENDER WHILE STILL CAPABLE OF FIGHTING AND/OR ELUDING THE ENEMY.

"So shoot me for treason. That's as good a way as any."

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR SYSTEMS OF THIS SHIP TO HARM YOU.

"All right then, let's stop running. The Others will find us soon enough once we stop. They'll know what to do."

THIS SHIP CANNOT DELIBERATELY ALLOW ITSELF TO FALL INTO ENEMY HANDS.

"You're disobeying me?"

THIS SHIP IS PROGRAMMED FOR MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS AGAINST THE ENEMY. A WEAPONS SYSTEM DOES NOT SURRENDER VOLUNTARILY.

[. . . .]

SELF-PROTECTION MECHANISMS INCLUDE THE CAPABILITY OF PREVENTING THE HUMAN COMPONENT OF THE SYSTEM FROM IRRATIONAL ACTIONS. A series of clicks and blinks, then: IN LIEU OF SPECIFIC COURSE INSTRUCTIONS, A RANDOM EVASION PATTERN WILL BE RUN.


in a time where humanity is hunted down by other space faring species.

You have no right to resist.
Your race is evil. All must pay with death.
You cannot escape us.

It was almost poem-like and kept repeating something like “run man run.”

O sinner-man, where are you going to run to?
O sinner-man, where are you going to run to?
O sinner-man, where are you going to run to?
All on that day?

The title of the story is from the song "Sinner Man" which is quoted in the story. I believe the quotations are from the 1956 Les Baxter version, available on YouTube.

Could be a very old story.

  1. Seems like only yesterday.

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