Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #2
Published by Tor.com on May 8, 2018
Source: Purchased
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: eBook
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four-stars

It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

I read Artificial Condition right after I finished the first Murderbot story, All Systems Red. Now I’m anxiously waiting for #3, which comes out in August. They’re short, so definitely read #1 before Artificial Condition. It’ll give you the background you need on who Murderbot is, how it’s free from its governor module, and how almost human it is.

Once again, I like Murderbot. It’s funny and snarky. This time around it’s searching for the truth of what happened in its past and comes upon a helpful transport AI that likes entertainment feeds as much as Murderbot, so it helps out in many ways, including performing surgery on Murderbot to make it seem human. It’s easier to maneuver through the universe if people think you’re human, not a rogue killing machine. Murderbot needs to have a cover to get where it wants to go, so it signs up for employment as a bodyguard for researchers trying to recover some of their data from an (evil) mining company. Of course, the job turns more difficult than it should be when the “bad guys” are willing to kill to keep their secrets.

The plot is quick and the story is great. It’s short, u Wells manages to touch on what it means to be human and how society attempts to control minorities/marginalized people. Even robots have a class system. The AI transport is higher up the ladder than the SecUnit, which is itself higher than SexBots. But there are all subservient to humans, even mean nasty humans who value each other less than the robots value each other and, at least in Murderbot’s case, humans.

How long til August 7? I can’t wait to see what adventure Murderbot goes on next.

About Martha Wells

Martha Wells

Martha Wells (born 1964) is an American writer of speculative fiction. She has published a number of fantasy novels, young adult novels, media tie-ins, multiple short stories, and nonfiction essays on fantasy and science fiction subjects. She has won a Nebula Award, an ALA/YALSA Alex Award, a Locus Award, and her work has appeared on the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Award ballots, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List.

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