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This Omni short story was from the late 70s or early 80s.

Construction workers wear boots with magnets in them to keep them from floating away in zero gravity. A man obtains an advanced edition space suit with a personality and a "soul". The story is about the pros & cons he encounters.

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    Can you take a look at this guide and see if there is anything else you can edit in? For example, do you know any plot points that were memorable? – TheLethalCarrot Aug 23 '18 at 16:01
  • I can't provide a complete answer because it's been a very long time since I read the story, and can't be sure it matches, but my recollection of the story Borovsky's Hollow Woman by Nancy Kress and Jeff Duntemann is that it has at least a certain degree of similarity. It was published in Omni in October 1983, according to Wikipedia's bibliography of Nancy Kress stories. – Jules Aug 23 '18 at 18:01
  • .... and I've found a copy online, and I'm now sure this is the story you're after. I'll write up an answer in a minute... – Jules Aug 23 '18 at 18:15
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This Omni short story was from the late 70s or early 80s.

Borovsky's Hollow Woman by Jeff Duntemann and Nancy Kress was published in Omni in October 1983.

The story is about a construction worker, Mikhail Borovsky, who is working in Low Earth Orbit, and his relationship with his artificially intelligent suit, who is called Laura.

Construction workers wear boots with magnets in them to keep them from floating away in zero gravity.

An early paragraph states:

Laura adjusted the magnetism in her boot soles. Just enough to add a little friction, a little sureness. If she fell outward from the rotating structure into the starry darkness the steelworkers called the Pit, no one would fall after to her rescue.

Furthermore, you write:

A man obtains an advanced edition space suit with a personality and a "soul".

The headline on the first page of the story reads: "Laura's soul belonged to a man who demanded utter loyalty, no matter what the cost," clearly implying the suit has a soul.

The story is about the pros & cons he encounters.

The story begins with Laura going in search of and finding Borovsky, who has been injured in a fight. However, it soon turns out that despite having saved him, he's not entirely happy with her.

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Similar to "Monkey Suit," a 2009 short story set by Alastair Reynolds set in the Revelation Space universe and republished in the short story collection Deep Navigation. A crewman aboard an interstellar cargo vessel in dire straits is forced to use a semi-intelligent spacesuit whose longtime occupant was killed. The crewman has to go outside and walk on the ship's hull to conduct repairs and he's forced to negotiate with the spacesuit to earn its cooperation.

A couple decades too late to fit your timeline, though.

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