The short story “Case 74” by Cristian M. Teodorescu was published for the first time in 2014. It was translated from Romenian by Dan Pirjol.
Roger Clifford committed suicide but the investigation that follows is in a totally unprecedented situation because the victim had somehow transferred his mind into a computer. It’s equipped with next-generation hardware that can faithfully reproduce a person’s mental processes. Is the person who committed suicide dead or not?
The theme of the so-called upload, the transfer of a human mind into a computer, is certainly not original but Cristian Teodorescu addresses it with some twists and with some humor in his short story “Case 74”. It’s narrated in the form of documents included in the inquiry about a suicide that becomes much more.
Various testimonies allow the reader to get an idea about Roger Clifford, his inventions in the field of electronics and computer science and the reasons for his suicide. Cristian Teodorescu describes possible progress that allow to build a computer with characteristics suitable for hosting a human being’s mind and the technical-scientific descriptions are used in particular to describe the consequences of that possibility.
Initially, the inquiry about Roger Clifford suicide seems a formality but the discovery of a computer that contains the man’s mind makes the situation much more complex. Is that computer just a machine or must it considered a person? As if things weren’t complicated enough, the computer claims it’s an improved version of Roger Clifford.
Cristian Teodorescu isn’t interested in focusing on the philosophical and ethical factors related to this issue but prefers to deal with it in an apparently more light-hearted way. It’s precisely this development with funny elements added to a serious issue that makes “Case 74” an original story about a theme already developed several times. For all these reasons I think it’s a must-read story. It’s also available in an ebook edition together with “Big Bang Larissa” on Amazon USA, Amazon UK and Amazon Canada.