This is a short story I recall reading somewhere about an unmanned ship's computer.

The story begins with a computer's component receiving an unusual signal, but the computer doesn't understand why it is unusual. By attempting to understand the reason for its confusion, gradually it realizes that its core is badly damaged. It attempts to send a drone to install the only remaining replacement core, but the drone and the core hurtles through a hole in the side of the ship, which the computer failed to notice as well (due to the damage). The computer is now stranded drifting through space, with the realization that it is irrevocably damaged and cannot repair itself.

1 Answer 1


That is very likely The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series.

This particular story about the Grebulons is from the fifth book: Mostly Harmless.

  • I don't recall reading "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe". Let me just confirm this quickly... Jun 29, 2012 at 0:49
  • @CyberShadow: I'm sorry, I was mistaken, it is actually Mostly Harmless. See update.
    – bitmask
    Jun 29, 2012 at 0:53
  • That doesn't stir my memory. Perhaps I've read this story outside context. Jun 29, 2012 at 0:53
  • @CyberShadow: Well if it wasn't from Mostly Harmless, the idea was stolen from that book, because it's pretty much how I recall it happening (I just confused two species so I thought it was in the second, not the fifth book).
    – bitmask
    Jun 29, 2012 at 0:57
  • 1
    As Douglas Adams stated it a "trilogy" of five books.
    – ewanm89
    Jun 29, 2012 at 13:38

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