I read a translation of this short story around 2000 but no idea how old the original could have been. The plot follows someone entering a euthanasia machine and being talked through the process by an AI persona that runs the machine. There was a step of confirming that they are voluntarily choosing to die, and then an explanation that they would be anesthetized and submerged in some kind of acid or solvent. The twist at the end was the person explaining that their actual goal is to destroy the machine, by carrying another chemical inside their body that will violently react with this solvent and that it's too late for the AI to do anything to stop the process.

The translation was in Bangla, and it's possible the original story is in Russian but I'm really not sure.


1 Answer 1


I managed to track down the book and the story is The Ultimate Threshold by Herman Maximov. One added detail is that the protagonist is also the original designer/architect of the machine. The story was also adapted for an episode of the radio series Vanishing Point.

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