Trying to find a short story my father read to me once.

It involves the minds of convicted criminals being placed into insect-like bodies to man small spacecraft. They perform scientific research and other tasks while serving out their time, at which point they are returned home to their bodies.

There are some who go rogue, remove the remote kill switch from their bodies, arm their craft, and turn to piracy.

The story must have been from over 20 years ago.

  • I read this at one point, but it may have been incorporated into a longer work. Maybe Charles Stross' Accelerando. But I don't have the book handy to check. Jun 21, 2013 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


This sounds like one of the short stories in the collection, The Bug Life Chronicles, by Phillip C. Jennings.

Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (January 2, 1989)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 067169801X
ISBN-13: 978-0671698010

  • 2
    Not the story being searched, but I recall an Outer Limits episode(Original Series) where an alien space traveling race wants to swap their worst criminals with Earth's. Humans agree but communications are imprecise and when the alien ship arrives it is filled with six legged convicts about the size of the human hand. They looked like anthropomorphized game pieces from the 1950-1960's game "Cooties". And chaos ensues...
    – Ihor Sypko
    Nov 8, 2013 at 18:54

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