Madeline Ashby. The Education of Junior Number 12. (Year’s Best SF 17)

Originally online on : and still online.

Ashby makes self-replicating Von Neumann machines pretty much as exciting as they are going to get. Just think of Number Five from Short Circuit, except with more attitude and the equipment to (ahem) interface with humanity. If you only read one online SF story today, make it this one.

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