This is a short story I read back in the 80's (but it could be older). It centered around a man who was artificially augmented with a computer that could be plugged directly to his spine. The story opens in a casino in Mars where he has won a large sum of money using his hidden computer processing power to calculate odds. He is later approached by a woman who offers him a job: hack into the computer systems of the highly secretive owner of the casino by plugging himself into it. In the process he discovers that the shadowy owner is in fact the computer system itself that has gained sentience.

I no longer remember what the story was called. Or even what language it was originally written in (the version I read was translated to Arabic). Though I seem to remember the words "fire" and "ship" somewhere in the title. Ring any bells?

  • 1
    sounds like it would have made a good episode plot for Cowboy Bebop
    – Xantec
    May 31, 2011 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


You have, in fact, remembered the title. It's Fireship by Joan D. Vinge.

  • 2
    That's it! I googled "fire ship" and "ship of fire" but for some reason neglected "fireship". May 31, 2011 at 20:21

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