In a short story that I read a few years ago, the narrator is living aboard a space craft which travels between solar systems building a gate network. She spends the vast majority of her time in suspended animation, only waking up when needed.

There is an AI called "The Chimp" on board, that has had a long feud of some kind with the main character. They get in a debate when they are contacted by some entity near the star system where they plan to build the next gate.

Other details:

  • Long before the ship arrives by the system where the gate is to be built, setup begins thanks to "vons" (Von Neumann probes)
  • The narrator has a son (?) on board, who generally sides more with The Chimp.

    At some point she threatens to kill him to convince The Chimp to move the next planned gate.

  • There is some hint that the narrator on this ship have long outlived the original society that built the ship. She mentions spending eons traveling between build sites. Sometimes something pokes through to look immediately after gates are built, sometimes they see no one at all. From this she infers that whole civilizations rise and fall as she goes on with her work.

I can' for the life of me remember what this story was called, anyone have any idea?


1 Answer 1


The Island by Peter Watts. From this review:

Set many millions of years after The Freeze-Frame Revolution, it brings us back to Sunday Ahzmundin (the protagonist of that one) and the Chimp (the AI of the wormhole-building black-hole-powered asteroid starship) and their strained dynamic through countless millions of years lived a few days at a time, punctuating deathlike eons-long cryosleep.

This review provides more matching details, including that she has a son who was born to her while she was in cryosleep, and that his lack of socialization means she can't relate to him.

Found with a search for "star system" gate "the chimp"


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