It is in the format of a chat log. A man's consciousness was uploaded to a computer to save him. Now in the future, they downloaded his mind into a body, but the man gave permission for scientists to copy his consciousness and talk to it through a computer. The scientist on the computer is excited because he finally found a version of the consciousness that is stable and lasts more than a few seconds before going crazy. Does this short story sound familiar to anyone?

  • Sounds a bit like "The Tear Problem," first published on EscapePod.org. But it is also ringing vague bells that I read or listened to this story also and was reminded of Roger Zelazny's "Go Starless in the Night".
    – Lexible
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 20:25
  • 1
    Does it have to be a short story? This sounds a great deal like the opening chapter of the novel "Permutation City." A man uploads his mind in another attempt to get a stable version that does not commit suicide.
    – Vicpylon
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 0:46
  • It looks like someone else found your post and used it to ask after it on Reddit: reddit.com/r/tipofmytongue/comments/3tholr/… That said, none of the provided answers look like matches to me.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 19:31
  • Are we looking for the same story? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/253554/…
    – alextes
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 9:40

3 Answers 3


It does sound familiar. I found a similar story during my search. "Lena" by qntm and Sam Hughes, is about a neurology graduate Miguel Álvarez Acevedo whose consciousness and experiments thereof comprise the bulk of the story. The story reads like a summary report on the topic in the style of a Wikipedia entry.

The story is available here or archived here.

  • 1
    Who is the author of this short story? I couldn't see it written clearly on the linked page.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 19:09
  • The work is recorded on Goodreads and cites two authors: qntm, Sam Hughes goodreads.com/book/show/57932409-lena Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 20:06
  • @KelseySorrels Pretty sure Sam Hughes and qntm are the same person
    – Stef
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 13:01

It sounds very similar to "We Are Legion (We Are Bob)", which is a story about a guy who gets cryogenically frozen after death. A few hundred years in the future, he's revived (his consciousness is transferred to computers/machines). The doctors there tell him that this process (putting his consciousness into a machine) is dangerous and that some of the people who this happens to go mad/can't handle it. I believe that one of his 'forms' is blown up and the scientist/doctor uses a back-up and puts that into new machines.

Where it strays from your description is that eventually the protagonist is sent out into the solar system on a quest for worlds that can sustain life.


This might be it. It was for me anyway and this question was one of the only things I could find that came even close.


  • not quite a chat log, but is written as a personal log!
  • a consciousness is uploaded, though not to save the man, it is simple impatience and desire to push the human boundary I feel.
  • somewhere in the future the mind upload becomes embodied again.
  • at first the other people on the team talk to the mind upload through text / audio on computers.
  • at the start it is mentioned that the host usually dies when trying to map the mind but their company is the first to have done it.

Happy reading!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.