"The Final Performance of the Amazing Ralphie" by Pat Cadigan
An AI-controlled avatar built to entertain patients in deep space performs innocuous magic tricks for patients... until one day, he adds something new to his act.
This story was originally published in AVATARS INC edited by Ann VanderMeer, and collected in THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, VOL. 2 edited by Jonathan Strahan.
PLUS! With FIYAH Literary Magazine and Tor.com, we announce the winners of the LeVar Burton Reads writing contest!
Content advisory: hospice setting, death