counter create hit Artificial Condition - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Artificial Condition

Availability: Ready to download

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 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…


Compare
Ads Banner

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 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…

30 review for Artificial Condition

  1. 4 out of 5

    carol.

    "I was stalling. I would have to interact with humans as an augmented human... I had imagined it as taking place from a distance, or in the spaces of a crowded transit ring. Interacting meant talking, and eye contact. I could already feel my performance capacity dropping." It was with anticipation of pleasure that I picked up the second installment in the Murderbot series. After its thrilling adventures on its last expedition as a SecUnit, I was curious to see what 'Bot would do with freedom. I r "I was stalling. I would have to interact with humans as an augmented human... I had imagined it as taking place from a distance, or in the spaces of a crowded transit ring. Interacting meant talking, and eye contact. I could already feel my performance capacity dropping." It was with anticipation of pleasure that I picked up the second installment in the Murderbot series. After its thrilling adventures on its last expedition as a SecUnit, I was curious to see what 'Bot would do with freedom. I read quickly, finishing in one sitting. Though the beginning felt a bit awkward, I remained confident that Wells would end up somewhere interesting. It was an enjoyable read, but suffered from a few issues. Why not five stars, you wonder? I do enjoy the character of Murderbot a great deal, but found myself with some sticky points on my first read-through. One, I felt Murderbot had become more colloquial in its speech without accompanying change in comfort level with others. Calling A.R.T. an 'asshole,' for instance, seemed odd. Funny, no doubt. But would the apathetic Murderbot really have named a mildly intrusive artificial intelligence it just met an 'asshole?' It set the wrong tone and in some ways, the character of Murderbot backslid to be a socially inept human, not a killing machine trying to create behavior patterns. Two, I thought the narrative confusing at first. I'm quite used to Well's elaborate world-building, but this felt awkward. On re-read, I decided it was smoother than I had thought the first time through. I remain extremely puzzled as to the differences between 'constructs,' 'artificial intelligences,' and ''bots' in Murderbot's world and why humans created 'constructs' as they did. At one point 'Bot notes that "the long sleeves of the T-shirt and jacket, the pants and the boots covering all my inorganic parts," which seemed especially weird to me. Why leave human hands on a construct? I also remained puzzled by lines such as "I huddled in the chair." Hello, Killing Machine? Why on earth do you have any hormones responsible for fear? I feel like Wells would have done better to stick with a Star Trek TNG 'Data' type model. Three, the plot was good, but uneven. Murderbot wants to see the scene of its alleged murders. It will need a pretext to get there, so it signs on with a group of naive workers hoping to regain some stolen data. This premise works at first until the workers, a family with young children, behave in incredibly naive and stupid ways, leading Murderbot to behave in naive and stupid ways. The long journey to the scene of the crime ends up being anticlimactic To be fair, my rating might also be a case of high expectations; certainly it is much better than many 3-star books that I've read, enjoyed, and promptly forgot (basically every generic cop-thriller). I love much of what Martha Wells has done, and have a number of her books shelved in hardcover. Since I can still remember many of the details of Artificial Condition without picking up the book, it's good enough to make an impression. There's lots of humor and sarcasm, some sweet computer bonding and quite a bit of action. Definitely worth reading. Thanks to all the friends and commenters who helped me clarify my thoughts!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    All the stars! ART the spaceship transport AI is not to be missed. An awesome sequel to the Nebula award-winning “All Systems Red.” I liked it even better than the first book, and this one was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: The illicit adventures of Murderbot continue in Artificial Condition, the terrific sequel to Martha Wells’ 2017 Nebula award-winning novella, All Systems Red. Murderbot, a deeply introverted cyborg security unit, or Se All the stars! ART the spaceship transport AI is not to be missed. An awesome sequel to the Nebula award-winning “All Systems Red.” I liked it even better than the first book, and this one was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: The illicit adventures of Murderbot continue in Artificial Condition, the terrific sequel to Martha Wells’ 2017 Nebula award-winning novella, All Systems Red. Murderbot, a deeply introverted cyborg security unit, or SecUnit, who previously hacked the governor software that forced obedience to human commands, has illegally gone off the grid, eschewing the safety of a mostly-free life with a sympathetic owner in order to travel on its own. Disguising itself as an augmented human, Murderbot takes off for the mining facility space station where, it understands, it once murdered a group of humans that it was charged with protecting, though its memory of the event has been mostly erased. (Hence the name Murderbot that it has given itself.) To get to the mining station, Murderbot hitches a ride with an empty cargo transport, offering to share the many hours of media and entertainment that it has accumulated. But the transport AI turns out to be far more powerful and intelligent than Murderbot had anticipated ― a dangerous situation for Murderbot, who’s in a highly vulnerable position. The transport AI, which Murderbot calls ART (short for Asshole Research Transport), is looking for more than just entertainment media. It actually wants to understand and help Murderbot with its quest. Once they gets to their destination, at ART’s suggestion, Murderbot (still in disguise as a human) takes a contract as a security guard for a technologist group of humans who are planning to travel to the same area of the station as the installation where the deadly incident in Murderbot’s past occurred. This gives Murderbot a convenient excuse for being in this isolated area, and it intends to use its spare time to investigate the incident, which has been hidden from the public. But, as in All Systems Red, Murderbot finds that when others need its help and expertise, it’s hard to remain emotionally disengaged. Artificial Condition was, for me, an even more entertaining story and mystery than All Systems Red. I found the plot fresher overall, with its interweaving of the treacherous plotting surrounding the technologist group that Murderbot is protecting, and Murderbot’s investigation of the disaster in its own past. In the process of discovering more about its prior life, Murderbot also discovers more about itself, and there are hints of some possible connections between the past incident and the current one, in addition to some thematic ties. The human characters were diverse and fairly well-drawn, but the characters that really engaged me were the artificial intelligences. Murderbot continues to develop depth as a character, and its snark (often about the idiocies of humans) adds an enjoyable dose of humor to the story.I phrased it as a question, because pretending you were asking for more information was the best way to try to get the humans to realize they were doing something stupid. “So do you think there’s another reason Tlacey wants you to do this exchange in person, other than … killing you?”Murderbot also grows in self-awareness through its experiences. Some interactions with a ComfortUnit (the euphemism for a sexbot) lead to a deeper appreciation for the freedoms it does have, and for using one’s freedom of choice to help others in need. In particular, I loved the rather bossy transport AI ART, and ART’s determined insertion of itself into Murderbot’s life and concerns, despite Murderbot’s reluctance to allow it in. Sometimes resistance really is futile … but that’s not always a bad thing. The third novella in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series, Rogue Protocol, is due to be published in August 2018. I’m anxious to see where Murderbot’s journey takes us next. I received a free copy of this ebook from Tor for review. Thanks so much! Content note: scattered F-bombs.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    I said, “Sometimes people do things to you that you can't do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on.” They all stopped talking and stared at me. It made me nervous and I immediately switched my view to the nearest security camera so I could watch us from the side. I had said it with more emphasis than I intended, but it was just the way things were. I wasn't sure why it had such an impact on them. Maybe it sounded like I knew what I was talking about. Maybe it was the two m I said, “Sometimes people do things to you that you can't do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on.” They all stopped talking and stared at me. It made me nervous and I immediately switched my view to the nearest security camera so I could watch us from the side. I had said it with more emphasis than I intended, but it was just the way things were. I wasn't sure why it had such an impact on them. Maybe it sounded like I knew what I was talking about. Maybe it was the two murder attempts. I honestly am on the four-hundred-reviews-to-come portion of my evening, so this will be a bit briefer. First of all, sci-fi novella. Second of all, I already reviewed book one in depth. Here's a quick bulleted list of things I liked about this volume: ➽A lot more worldbuilding. We see Murderbot go beyond just one singular arena and really see a lot more of the world. I also just liked seeing everything; in the first book I really didn't perceive the world, and here I did. ➽There’s a character introduced who uses gender neutral pronouns (!) ➽Murderbot's first crew is missing in this book, but the new characters are super interesting as well - a pissed-off transport operative [ART] is my definite favorite. But here's the REAL kicker: I just love Murderbot more and more each volume as it continues to explore its humanity. In some entertainment media I had seen, the bare metal bot-bodies were used to portray the evil rogue SecUnits who menaced the main characters. Not that I was annoyed by that or anything. It was actually good, because then humans who had never worked with SecUnits expected us to look like human-form bots, and not what we actually looked like. I wasn't annoyed at all. Not one bit. The way in which Murderbot is treated by society as a whole is kind of one of the main functions of the world, and I really enjoy it. It's a really interesting character to me because its thought processes echo that of a very traumatized and somewhat emotionally locked off human. It gets the most depth, the most narrative sympathy, and some of the best development I've ever seen. I love how it keeps denying having any feelings and I love it. On a sort of related note, I totally love that Murderbot is humanized via caring about people in the non-romantic way. Robots-Becomes-Human-Because-It-Feels-Romantic-Love is a really overdone and, if thought about critically, totally fucked up trope; I'm really loving the subversion of this. On a related note, I'm loving that Martha Wells didn't give the robots gender. That shouldn't be a huge statement, but damn, this is the era that gave us alien robots with ponytails. Anyway, summary: it’s as if Martha Wells knows Exactly what I like in literature and plans to use that knowledge. For evil. And for an excellent novella series that I can’t see myself putting down anytime soon. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    The good news is that I still love Murderbot and that I now also love ART. The bad news is that I unfortunately didn't like this book as much as the first one. I couldn't get into the story until half way through it. I still very much look forward to reading the next awkward adventures of Murderbot though!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    These Murderbot Diaries are quickly becoming a go-to popcorn SF read for me. I love killer robots as much as the next bloke, but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for this one. It's not just the hundreds of hours this mass-murder-capable robot pours into his/her SF soap opera binge-watching time. It's not the kinds of situations that make it need to pretend to be human among all the myriad prejudices AGAINST mass-murder-capable robots. It's the candid conversations with pissed-off robot car These Murderbot Diaries are quickly becoming a go-to popcorn SF read for me. I love killer robots as much as the next bloke, but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for this one. It's not just the hundreds of hours this mass-murder-capable robot pours into his/her SF soap opera binge-watching time. It's not the kinds of situations that make it need to pretend to be human among all the myriad prejudices AGAINST mass-murder-capable robots. It's the candid conversations with pissed-off robot carriers. I kinda agree with these two. Murdering all the humans would truly make their lives much simpler. But then again, I suppose that could be said about all of us. Good worldbuilding! I'm really flying through each one of these like it was popcorn. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”When constructs were first developed, they were originally supposed to have a pre-sentient level of intelligence, like the dumber variety of bot. But you can’t put something as dumb as a hauler bot in charge of security for anything without spending even more money for expensive company-employed human supervisors. So they made us smarter. The anxiety and depression were side effects.” The SecUnit, the hero of our continuing saga, has enough intelligence to start to suffer from a mild form of ”When constructs were first developed, they were originally supposed to have a pre-sentient level of intelligence, like the dumber variety of bot. But you can’t put something as dumb as a hauler bot in charge of security for anything without spending even more money for expensive company-employed human supervisors. So they made us smarter. The anxiety and depression were side effects.” The SecUnit, the hero of our continuing saga, has enough intelligence to start to suffer from a mild form of chronic depression, only waiting for a half dozen more things to go wrong before he/she becomes full blown, 24/7 depressed. Humans don’t help. They are irrational creatures and are constantly making decisions that, frankly, are bordering on suicidal. The SecUnit’s job is to keep them alive. Thank goodness for Sanctuary Moon. Since a SecUnit does not have to sleep, he/she can binge watch TV shows for all those hours that humans are sleeping. I have several friends who wish they could bypass the whole sleep thing to continue binging 1990s sitcoms until blood starts seeping out of their eyeballs. Whenever SecUnit feels depressed or too anxious, he/she can always access the feed and watch some episodes of his/her favorite space opera, Sanctuary Moon. SecUnit needs to get to HaviHyral so he/she can investigation what exactly happened to him/her when he/she went berserk and killed a bunch of humans and destroyed a few bots, as well. He/she became at that moment, in his/her mind, Murderbot. His/her memory has been wiped, but his/her organic memory retains vestiges of what happened. When he/she breaks his/her governing unit, which allows humans to control him/her, which frankly doesn’t go so well with all that carnage and murder, he/she becomes a free agent. (All of that will be made clear when you read the first book in the series, All Systems Red.) To get to HaviHyral, he has to have a work contract with a human. Murderbot makes “friends” with a transport pod known as ART (______ Research Transport). You’ll have to read the book to find out what the A stands for. Fortunately, ART is able to provide help and assistance, as if Murderbot was still tied into the security system as a legally operating SecUnit. Murderbot needs all the help he/she can get keeping these naive human clients alive. After some alterations to his/her physiology so that he/she can pass as an augmented human, he/she looks in the mirror and thinks: ”It would make it harder for me to pretend not to be a person.” Depressing thought. ART offers to attach gender parts, which Murderbot emphatically rejects. It would have made writing this review easier if he/she had declared a gender (Martha Wells sidesteps this issue by writing in the first person), but part of the interesting things about this series is how readers react to Murderbot. Some see him/her as a she, and some see her/him as a he. We are coded to assign gender. I could refer to Murderbot as it, but for some reason that just seems wrong to me. Toasters are its. Lawn mowers are its. He/she might be a better version of human than what humans seem to be capable of. There are two more episodes (a nod I’m giving to Sanctuary Moon) in this extremely entertaining series. I have them already in hand and certainly must see where Murderbot’s investigation takes him/her, and see how he/she handles becoming more and more human. He/she has even experienced enough that he/she can now offer wise advice to his clients. ”Sometimes people do things to you that you can’t do anything about. You just have to survive it and go.” Highly Recommended! If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    “For my entire existence, at least the parts I could remember, I had done nothing but accept the inevitable. I was tired of it.” Dear Murderbot, If I promise that we can spend quality time just sitting quietly together, me reading and you watching your space soap operas, and I won’t be bugging you much, can we please be friends? “I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.” Now I am halfway through what feels “For my entire existence, at least the parts I could remember, I had done nothing but accept the inevitable. I was tired of it.” Dear Murderbot, If I promise that we can spend quality time just sitting quietly together, me reading and you watching your space soap operas, and I won’t be bugging you much, can we please be friends? “I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.” Now I am halfway through what feels like one long novel of the adventures of Murderbot, the pessimistic, shy and suffering from a bit of social anxiety cyborg construct, a former SecUnit, by all laws and customs a piece of property, a tool, a menace rendered useful and safe by the means of governor module which allows for complete torture control (and currently nonfunctional, in case you cared) - and, despite what M-Bot wants you to think, clearly a person. Because being human and being a person are completely different concepts. “But there weren’t any depictions of SecUnits in books, either. I guess you can’t tell a story from the point of view of something that you don’t think has a point of view.” We humans have been very good throughout our messy history to deny personhood to anyone we’d rather treat as tools or things or property. No wonder the assumption here is that a rogue ‘Bot without a controlling whip of the governor module would choose to rampage and murder humans as an ‘equipment failure’. Why would a tool kill you as soon as you lose control over it? But think of that “tool” as someone whose free will you have been oppressing - and the reason for the fear makes perfect sense. Slave-owners are terrified of rebellions, after all. And so M-Bot needs to stay disguised in order to survive. “The tension that had kept me down to 96 percent capacity eased; a murderbot’s life is stressful in general, but it would be a long time before I got used to moving through human spaces with no armor, no way to hide my face.” “I’m not normally afraid of things, the way humans are. I’ve been shot hundreds of times, so many times I stopped keeping count, so many times the company stopped keeping count. I’ve been chewed on by hostile fauna, run over by heavy machinery, tortured by clients for amusement, memory purged, etc., etc. But the inside of my head had been my own for +33,000 hours and I was used to it now. I wanted to keep me the way I was.” ————- This story follows our newly sorta-free Murderbot on his¹ quest to get to the bottom of the events that happened 35K hours ago when he supposedly murdered quite a few of his human charges. It requires him trying to pass as a human, regardless of how painful and awkward it is for him. And leads to uncovering what I assume will be the plot of the remaining two novellas.¹ I know Murderbot is not gendered and clearly not a sexbot. However, using “it” feels like like treating him as a tool or equipment, not a person. And he just seems kinda male to me, so “he” it’s going to be. Along the way he ends up protecting (old habits die hard!) a bunch of humans who without him are destined to be worm food. Yes, we can be that illogically stupid. “I’m used to humans wanting to do things that can get them killed. Maybe too used to it.” And he makes an unexpected friend and ally - ART, another non-human intelligence. Who shares M-Bot’s love for space soap operas. If this is not a foundation for lasting friendship, what is? “Are all constructs so illogical? said the Asshole Research Transport with the immense processing capability whose metaphorical hand I had had to hold because it had become emotionally compromised by a fictional media serial.” ———————— I loved this story just as much as I loved its predecessor. It’s just as strong and engaging - in writing and characterization and humor. But while the first installment could have worked well as a stand-alone piece, this one makes it clear that there is more story to come. And I plan to read it all. “I said, “Sometimes people do things to you that you can’t do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on.” 5 stars. —————————— My review of the first novella, “All Systems Red” is here. My review of the third one, “Rogue Protocol”, is here. My review of the fourth one, “Exit Strategy”, is here. My review of the fifth story (and the first full-length novel), “Network Effect”, is here.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kuhn

    This is novella two in the Muderbot Diaries. I enjoyed it just as much as the first novella. Once again, the strength of the story comes from the characterizations of non-humans. The story itself, almost feels like a side question. After the events of the first book, Muderbot wants to return to the scene of a human massacre that it may have played a role in. However, in order to gain access to the surface, Murderbot signs on with a group that has their own challenges and conflict. In it’s introv This is novella two in the Muderbot Diaries. I enjoyed it just as much as the first novella. Once again, the strength of the story comes from the characterizations of non-humans. The story itself, almost feels like a side question. After the events of the first book, Muderbot wants to return to the scene of a human massacre that it may have played a role in. However, in order to gain access to the surface, Murderbot signs on with a group that has their own challenges and conflict. In it’s introverted manner, it can’t help but feel sorry and responsible for a fairly pitiful group of humans that are in a nearly no-win situation. My favorite part of this story is the introduction of ART, a sentient transport bot, built to pilot and control a space transport ship. While it’s vast intelligence initially scares Murderbot, the two quickly fall into together. ART reminds me a bit of Marvin, the manically depressed robot in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, ART is less depressed, but just as bored as Marvin. There is no doubt that the charm of this entire series is the humanization of non-humans in the form (so far) of Murderbot and ART. It’s their unusual character traits (introverted, jaded, and loads of snark) that make the series so fun. It’s a complete story and does tie-in to the first story in several ways, even if it feels like a side-quest. I sure hope we see more of ART in next few novellas! Another entertaining and fun novella with characters that are more human than humans! Four and half stars for book two of the Murderbot Diaries.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Star-gazing SecUnits: “Artificial Condition - The MurderBot Diaries 2” by Martha Wells “But you may have noticed that for a terrifying murderbot I fuck up a lot.” In “Artificial Condition - The MurderBot Diaries 2” by Martha Wells The very unfamiliarity of SF is one of its attractions for me. It slows down the reading and speeds up the need to think, both within and across books (intertextuality). Familiarity, similarity? Try reading thes If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Star-gazing SecUnits: “Artificial Condition - The MurderBot Diaries 2” by Martha Wells “But you may have noticed that for a terrifying murderbot I fuck up a lot.” In “Artificial Condition - The MurderBot Diaries 2” by Martha Wells The very unfamiliarity of SF is one of its attractions for me. It slows down the reading and speeds up the need to think, both within and across books (intertextuality). Familiarity, similarity? Try reading these in a row, then come back and tell me you were on familiar ground all the while and that your mind is still in the same shape: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", "Ubik"; "Version Control"; "The Gradual", "The Dispossessed" and "The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories". Setting a story in another place or another time enables speculative fiction like the one Martha Wells attempts with her MurderBot series to explore ideas that literary fiction might really struggle with. I'm interested in divided societies … Irish … English … Dorset … Croatia … Bosnia … Israelis and Palestinians … Read on, if you feel so inclined.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Putnam

    Artificial Condition Sept. 2020 I really love this series, this the second book I’ve read. There is something about the murderbot who loves watching space operas in its spare time that is intriguing. The voice of the murderbot is always consistent and the writing craft is excellent. This book started off a little slow. The conflict wasn’t set until page 37 and during the 37 pages there is very little forward motion in the story. But once I got over that hump the story really took off. The plot re Artificial Condition Sept. 2020 I really love this series, this the second book I’ve read. There is something about the murderbot who loves watching space operas in its spare time that is intriguing. The voice of the murderbot is always consistent and the writing craft is excellent. This book started off a little slow. The conflict wasn’t set until page 37 and during the 37 pages there is very little forward motion in the story. But once I got over that hump the story really took off. The plot reminds of some of the best action books by Mark Greany, and Kyle Mills. Maybe even a little of Jack Reacher. The murderbot keeps the reader updated on everything that is happening in clean concise prose. I’m moving on to the next book. I highly recommend this one for readers of well written Sci-fi. David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    I love Murderbot! What's not to love about a depressed, soap-opera watching, socially awkward, killing machine? People are nervous of me because I'm a terrifying murderbot, and I'm nervous of them because they're humans. This book is a continuation of our robot-with-low-self-esteem's story. Murderbot has decided to go back to where it first decided to name itself 'Murderbot'. On the way, it makes a new friend - a sentient space ship that Murderbot names ART, an acronym for Asshole Research Tran I love Murderbot! What's not to love about a depressed, soap-opera watching, socially awkward, killing machine? People are nervous of me because I'm a terrifying murderbot, and I'm nervous of them because they're humans. This book is a continuation of our robot-with-low-self-esteem's story. Murderbot has decided to go back to where it first decided to name itself 'Murderbot'. On the way, it makes a new friend - a sentient space ship that Murderbot names ART, an acronym for Asshole Research Transport. I kinda liked ART, but Murderbot took a while to warm up to him. ART likes humans and is trying to help Murderbot pose as a human with lots of robot parts. Yes, the giant transport bot is going to help the (murderbot) pretend to be human. This will go well. When Murderbot meets a different kind of robot on his journey, that robot has a very new idea: Murderbot: "What do you propose to do?" There was a long pause. "We could kill them." Well, that was an unusual approach. Muderbot: "Kill who?" Other robot: "All of them. The humans here." ART said, "What does it want?" "To kill all the humans," I answered. I could feel ART metaphorically clutch its function. Aww, robots wanting to kill us all. The age-old problem. We all know that this is how things will end for us. Let's face it. We are building things that are for sure going to kill the crap out of us one day. Why do they even bother with the sign? This book was super fun with a lot of action. Murderbot's inner dialogue is hilariously snarky. The only down side to this series is how short the books are. I need more Murderbot in my life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    When we first met the SecUnit Murderbot in Martha Wells’ “All System’s Red”, it had already hacked its governor module, which is ostensibly in place to prevent it from going on a kill-happy rampage. In truth, it had already (apparently) gone on said rampage when it was “under control”, and only hacked the module so it wouldn’t happen again (and so it could have unfettered access to the entertainment feeds). When “Artificial Condition” opens, Murderbot has won a dubious kind of freedom thanks to When we first met the SecUnit Murderbot in Martha Wells’ “All System’s Red”, it had already hacked its governor module, which is ostensibly in place to prevent it from going on a kill-happy rampage. In truth, it had already (apparently) gone on said rampage when it was “under control”, and only hacked the module so it wouldn’t happen again (and so it could have unfettered access to the entertainment feeds). When “Artificial Condition” opens, Murderbot has won a dubious kind of freedom thanks to the human allies it made in “All Systems Red”. Still ever wary of the protocols it must follow to allay the suspicions of the humans it encounters, Murderbot sets off to learn the truth about the massacre it had been held responsible for but has no clear recollection of. Murderbot forms a tenuous alliance with ART, a transport AI who helps disguise Murderbot’s identity as a rogue SecUnit by surgically altering it to appear as an augmented human. ART also helps Murderbot get a cover job to justify its trip to the mining facility on the planet RaviHyral, where its supposed massacre took place. Murderbot (in disguise as a human, at this point) takes on the role of bodyguard for a group of researchers trying to retrieve their hijacked data from the company after their contracts were abruptly terminated. The situation is an obvious set-up: the mining company’s owner, Tlacey, will only meet with them in person, on RaviHyral, and if their data is as important as they think it is, it would be much more cost effective to just get them out of the way. Murderbot agrees, of course, because it gets it inside the Tlacey facility, and because it’s a sucker for hard luck humans who get screwed over by corporations. What I like most about this series is the way society exhibits social control over AIs like Murderbot, even without his governor module in place. As it pointed out in “All Systems Red”, it still has to hold down a job, and likes watching its soap operas, and can’t do those things if it goes around murdering people indiscriminately and has to stay on the run all the time. Also, as it points out in this one, humans control all the charging stations. So even without the software that controls its actions, Murderbot must behave exactly as if those safeguards are still in place if it wants to continue to exist. Society presumes non-observance of social norms, even when the incentives to observe those norms are ingrained without the strict enforcement applied by the governor modules (a conundrum any person belonging to a marginalized group can appreciate). Wells adds a new layer to the power dynamics in “Artificial Condition” by showing us how these attitudes build hierarchies through interactions between different classes of AIs. When Murderbot first meets ART, ART reveals that it knows Murderbot is a rogue Sec, and could either turn it over to the authorities or kill Murderbot itself, if Murderbot displeases it. ART even has the audacity to read Murderbot’s acquiescence to its terms as “friendship”. By contrast, the sexbots on RaviHyral have even more miserable restrictions placed on their behavior than SecUnits do and view a rogue Sec as someone to aspire to. “Artificial Condition” is more tightly plotted than its predecessor, and the stakes are more personal, making it an even more satisfying work of brainy, funny, compelling sci-fi action. I highly recommend this series, starting with “All Systems Red”, to anyone who has not picked it up yet.

  13. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    I am in love with Murderbot! Definitely planning to continue with this series very soon. I am in love with Murderbot! Definitely planning to continue with this series very soon.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Murderbot is a security robot (aka Secbot or Secunit). Murderbot is a name it gave itself after being involved years ago in a massacre of the humans it was supposed to be guarding on a remote mining moon. Murderbot is part human material with a lot of augmented mechanization. Murderbot hacked it's own control governor module to allow Murderbot to not be programmatically controlled. Murderbot likes nothing more than download and stream hours of media, mostly human serial dramas, to relieve its bo Murderbot is a security robot (aka Secbot or Secunit). Murderbot is a name it gave itself after being involved years ago in a massacre of the humans it was supposed to be guarding on a remote mining moon. Murderbot is part human material with a lot of augmented mechanization. Murderbot hacked it's own control governor module to allow Murderbot to not be programmatically controlled. Murderbot likes nothing more than download and stream hours of media, mostly human serial dramas, to relieve its boredom, while doing a half assed version of its SecUnit job. We first met Murderbot last year in Martha Wells's "All Systems Red". We really really enjoy these Murderbot Diaries. Now we get "Artificial Condition" installment two of the Murderbot's diaries (available as both a hardcover and e-book). In Book 1, when its most recent Company contract went spectacularly wrong (Not its fault. Not this time. this time it saved its humans). In fact it was purchased by one of those humans and given its autonomy. In "Artificial Condition" Murderbot wants to explore it's past to determine what exactly happened back on that mining moon that caused the self naming of Murderbot. It can't quite remember due to memory loss. To accomplish this it must undergo medical alterations to become more human (whatever that really is). On Murderbot's journey to discover it's past, it finds itself stuck on the journey with an AI (artificial intelligence) whom Murderbot bestows with the name of ART. Art is much more than just a mindless system running a space transport. ART is a bored but sentient and highly intelligent transport system. As ART makes itself known to Murderbot, the two quibble over what media shows to watch, and the two learn much about each other. Even though "Artificial Condition" does not have the level of action it's predecessor contained, the entertainment level and the fine quality of Martha Welles voice make this a worthy successor to "All Systems Red". And just think, it's only a few months until the next book is released in the series titled "Rogue Protocol" is due, at the moment it's in August of 2018. I for one look forward to it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lois Bujold

    As I was advised, a most excellent continuation and further adventure of fellow trufan Murderbot, following "All Systems Red". But read the first novella first. Ta, L.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Re-read with BB&B starting today 24April20 I blew through this the second time around too. ART you are da bomb! Sale Alert: Kindle Daily Deal 06Mar20 for $2.99 I thought Murderbot all on their own was great in the first book, but then they teamed up with a semi-sentient ship better known to the reader as ART or (Asshole Research Transport) and everything was even better. Our favorite Cyborg SecUnit self titled Murderbot has left the travelers from the last book to set out on their own to find more Re-read with BB&B starting today 24April20 I blew through this the second time around too. ART you are da bomb! Sale Alert: Kindle Daily Deal 06Mar20 for $2.99 I thought Murderbot all on their own was great in the first book, but then they teamed up with a semi-sentient ship better known to the reader as ART or (Asshole Research Transport) and everything was even better. Our favorite Cyborg SecUnit self titled Murderbot has left the travelers from the last book to set out on their own to find more details out about what happened in the incident in which they are said to have killed 57 humans in a malfunction. Murderbot had no idea that the vessel on a routine cargo run would be more alive than it seemed or that it would want to help in any way but hey cargo runs are boring and this seems like it will be a good time. Plus, Murderbot brought media with them to watch along the way. I loved the dialogue between ART and Murderbot it was pretty funny and this was a friendship I could really get behind. “ART said, What does it want? To kill all the humans, I answered. I could feel ART metaphorically clutch its function. If there were no humans, there would be no crew to protect and no reason to do research and fill its databases. It said, That is irrational. I know, I said, if the humans were dead, who would make the media? It was so outrageous, it sounded like something a human would say.” But we can’t have a story with no humans and so Murderbot picks up a security contract along the way as cover. I really like how we are getting more backstory to Murderbot and the defining moment of their lives. It is coming a little at a time and I have some theories after this trip, like (view spoiler)[don’t read unless you really want to know what my theory is since it could be a spoiler(view spoiler)[I was a sexbotcomfortbot in my previous life (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] kind of theories. I can’t wait to find out if that one is right. Murderbots interactions with Humans are getting better but it is still easier to hack the security feed and watch the exchange from a distance than to just look at them through its own eyes. Even the words of wisdom out of Murderbots mouth give some insight to what might have happened before "Sometimes people do things to you that you can't do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on.” I think I liked this book even more than the first and can’t wait to see what the next adventure has in store for us.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    Martha Wells's fantastic sci-fi novella Artificial Condition was a worthy sequel to the equally awesome All Systems Red. This series is everything an AI sci-fi story should be and then some! It was thought provoking but also entertaining and engaging. Wells's sci-fi world of corporations gone wild in a space faring future is both interesting and excellent but just like the first book Murderbot was the true star of the show. Our favourite grumpy, socially anxious, security bot is the story's only Martha Wells's fantastic sci-fi novella Artificial Condition was a worthy sequel to the equally awesome All Systems Red. This series is everything an AI sci-fi story should be and then some! It was thought provoking but also entertaining and engaging. Wells's sci-fi world of corporations gone wild in a space faring future is both interesting and excellent but just like the first book Murderbot was the true star of the show. Our favourite grumpy, socially anxious, security bot is the story's only POV character and that really works as Murderbot is a truly unique character with an engaging voice. Never has it been so easy to love a Murderbot! The story was engaging and exciting. Having gone completely rogue at the end of the first book Murderbot is heading back to the planet that holds the secrets to its dark past. An incident which left a whole group of humans dead! Before we know it Murderbot is making an unexpected new friend in the form of a Research Transport vessel AI and signing on as a security consultant to a group of young humans. Murderbot needs the job as cover to get cleared to visit the planet of the incident but soon finds that the humans are caught up in a bit of danger and intrigue of their own and are in need of some serious help. Good thing Murderbot specializes in keeping idiot humans alive in-between watching episodes of its favourite TV shows! The standout secondary character was ART, the Transport AI, who makes an effort to befriend Murderbot. All in all this was a super enjoyable read and I cannot wait for the release of Murderbot's next adventure. Rating: 5 stars. Audio Note: Kevin.R.Free did a decent job with the audio without being anything outstanding. Note: On to the criticism! Nothing to moan about in terms of the actual story which is excellent but the pricing of the Murderbot novellas are pretty disgraceful. I'm all for novellas but to price them the same as a full book just makes it feel like this was the one book that got split into three or four novellas so the publisher (shame on you Tor!) can con three or four lots of cash out of the buyer:(

  18. 4 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    Niki's Narrative Novella Review [Part 2/4]: My feelings going into AC were tentative optimism. After all, sequels are never as good as the first, right? So if this could hold up to even 75% on how much I enjoyed All Systems Red, then I’d be good. The first few chapters were slowly paced and I really enjoyed reimmursing into Murderbot’s brain. Wells even had me laughing early on with MB’s interaction with a new character. And then the plot thickened and we were on our way to answering some questi Niki's Narrative Novella Review [Part 2/4]: My feelings going into AC were tentative optimism. After all, sequels are never as good as the first, right? So if this could hold up to even 75% on how much I enjoyed All Systems Red, then I’d be good. The first few chapters were slowly paced and I really enjoyed reimmursing into Murderbot’s brain. Wells even had me laughing early on with MB’s interaction with a new character. And then the plot thickened and we were on our way to answering some questions. I lost myself for a few hours as the story snowballed to the end with a fantastic momentum that perhaps was even more of a ride than the first book. At this point, I went “omg, give me the next one,” and proceeded to troll the publisher and review sites until I lucked into a copy (okay, I didn’t really troll, but I was still exceptionally lucky). ...read the rest of narrative at www.NikiHawkes.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    TS Chan

    I received an advanced reading copy from Tor.com in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars. An awesome sequel to All Systems Red, Artificial Condition pumps up the fun and action. Before I continue, I maintain that our genderless robotic main protagonist sounded female in my mind and hence, I will refer to it as she. Our sardonic SecUnit decided to return to the mining planet where a prior incident culminated in her self-christening as Murderbot, with the intention to investigate the real cause I received an advanced reading copy from Tor.com in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars. An awesome sequel to All Systems Red, Artificial Condition pumps up the fun and action. Before I continue, I maintain that our genderless robotic main protagonist sounded female in my mind and hence, I will refer to it as she. Our sardonic SecUnit decided to return to the mining planet where a prior incident culminated in her self-christening as Murderbot, with the intention to investigate the real cause of the said incident. In the course of attempting to hitch a ride there without being caught, she managed to bribe her way through by offering the transport bots her treasure trove of media, books, serials, and music downloads. I don't know about other readers, but this cracks me up so much! On the final transport to her desired destination, she found an artificial intelligence onboard that is more than her match, and also just a bit too curious. The interaction between the Murderbot and the transport AI made up some of the most amusing moments I've ever read. With this, Ms Murderbot got herself an accomplice on her mission, whom she nicknamed ART (No, I am not going to reveal what that stands for - just read it!). But to get onto the mining planet, without being detected given her standard SecUnit specifications, she needed to be more 'human'. Yikes! Yes, the giant transport bot is going to help the construct SecUnit pretend to be human. This will go well. The worldbuilding remains a tad vague throughout the books so far. However, it is not anything that most science fiction books or even movies have not shown before. Human-like robotic units and augmented humans, multi-level spaceports, shuttles, tubes and large transports. None of these can be too difficult to imagine or picture in one's head if you have watched enough sci-fi movies. This in effect enables the story to move forward with a brisk pace without spending too much time on describing the setting; a desirous outcome for a novella that has less than 200 pages to complete its plot narrative. In short, we have an absorbing and immensely entertaining novella that delivers everything it needs to in a shorter reading time. There is an adequately developed subplot within the larger arc of her investigation of the aforementioned incident which provided cool moments of suspense and action. A SecUnit trying to pass off as human and her artful sidekick was just loads of fun (and pun entirely intended). Most importantly, we are provided with the superb character development of the Murderbot; as she tries to embrace her freedom and act more human, she seems to become more human. Moreover, while socially anxious, Ms Murderbot is not one to pull any punches when the situation requires her to be badass. Don't mess with SecUnits, alright?! "I don't make threats. I'm just telling you what I'm going to do." Bring on Rogue Protocol right now! I can't wait to follow the Murderbot on her next adventure - what is she is going to do next? You can order this book from: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide) You can also find this, and my other reviews at Novel Notions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    1st read: Thrilled I got to read this a bit early - more thoughts closer to the publication date. I loved this just as much as the first one, though I did miss Murderbot's first crew. But I really enjoyed the new characters here... clearly Murderbot and ART are just the tip of the non-human iceberg... much more is going on with bots' and constructs' abilities than the average human in this world knows! 2nd read: Still good, I love ART even more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Orey

    I love murderbot's voice. And there are some conversations with bots that are just fantastic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I just adore this series. I had so much reading this second book and cannot wait for the last two books to be released. Martha Wells has created a wonderfully vivid world here, with a character at its core that is brilliant, funny, and relatable – and a murderbot. Murderbot is the main draw to this series of novellas: a rogue bot who pretends to not care about anything but its soap operas, it nevertheless cannot help but help other people on its way to solve the mysteries of its past. For a book I just adore this series. I had so much reading this second book and cannot wait for the last two books to be released. Martha Wells has created a wonderfully vivid world here, with a character at its core that is brilliant, funny, and relatable – and a murderbot. Murderbot is the main draw to this series of novellas: a rogue bot who pretends to not care about anything but its soap operas, it nevertheless cannot help but help other people on its way to solve the mysteries of its past. For a book this short, Martha Wells deals skillfully with many different things: found family, helping others, the role of society, and maybe most importantly the question of what makes somebody a person. We saw glimpses of how sexbots are treated in this world where their intellectual capacity is huge but their freedom is nil. I hope there will be more exploration of these themes in the last two books, as there is so much Martha Wells has to say on this subject. One thing that I keep circling back to trying to review this, is an observation on myself rather than on the book. In the book it is explicitly stated that Murderbot is genderless. In the first book (I spoke about this in my review for that) I kept picturing Murderbot as female and I am not sure why that is and what that says about me. This time around I did not picture it as female and I am glad of that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    This review contains spoilers for All Systems Red. I’m two books in and The Murderbot Diaries is already shaping up to be one of my favorite series of all time. Artificial Condition was everything I could have possibly hoped for and more from a sequel to All Systems Red, which was one of my top ten favorite books in 2019. It’s only February, but I think it’s safe to speculate that Artificial Condition has secured a spot among my top ten favorite books in 2020. Martha Wells has created a hilarious, This review contains spoilers for All Systems Red. I’m two books in and The Murderbot Diaries is already shaping up to be one of my favorite series of all time. Artificial Condition was everything I could have possibly hoped for and more from a sequel to All Systems Red, which was one of my top ten favorite books in 2019. It’s only February, but I think it’s safe to speculate that Artificial Condition has secured a spot among my top ten favorite books in 2020. Martha Wells has created a hilarious, relatable, and unforgettable character in Murderbot. This series is a masterclass in how to use first person point-of-view to show off your protagonist’s unique voice. Something I was looking forward to that this book definitely delivered was the opportunity to witness Murderbot’s continued character development as it interacts with new people (and constructs and bots) and as new situations force it to push the boundaries of its comfort zone. Speaking of new people (and constructs and bots), I was sad to see the PeservationAux team go at the end of All Systems Red, and I was skeptical that Artificial Condition would deliver on characters as memorable as they were, but it blew my expectations out of the water. ART was amazing. Tapan, Rami, and Maro were amazing. I loved the diversity. It felt so easy and natural. I thought the plot was even better than All Systems Red. Parts of it were intense and kept me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t feel like I was reading a novella; Artificial Condition packed as much of a plot punch as a full-length novel. It was such a joy to read about robots working together, robots motivated by something other than “kill all humans.” Wells has really created something special here and I’m eager to read the rest of it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Char

    ARTIFICIAL CONDITION is the second novella length installment of THE MURDERBOT DIARIES. This one worked better for me than the first. I'm not going to go into the plot as the synopsis and many other reviews already do that. I just wanted to say that the humor seemed more innate this time around, which I appreciated. Murderbot is leaRning more about the massacre that supposedly occurred, (that it partially remembers), and I am interested in learning more along with it. I'm anxiously awaiting book ARTIFICIAL CONDITION is the second novella length installment of THE MURDERBOT DIARIES. This one worked better for me than the first. I'm not going to go into the plot as the synopsis and many other reviews already do that. I just wanted to say that the humor seemed more innate this time around, which I appreciated. Murderbot is leaRning more about the massacre that supposedly occurred, (that it partially remembers), and I am interested in learning more along with it. I'm anxiously awaiting book 3 in the series! *I obtained my copy from my local library because 1. LIBRARIES RULE!! and 2. $10.00 for the e-book of a novella is a bit too rich for my blood.*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    In which Murderbot finds a friend and gets a job. I love Murderbot and its way of thinking, trying to work out what makes humans tick, trying to protect, learning to work with others. I loved the section on his developing friendship and what they could bond over. Recommended series #cyberawesomeness

  26. 4 out of 5

    Choko

    This was awesome!!! I love works on theoretical suppositions about how Artificial Intelligence entities could possibly think, act and interact with other such as them, although on different levels of developments and on different basic usage platforms and different points of reference... ❤

  27. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    I loved it! More later. *** Murderbot's shocking actions at the end of All Systems Red come into sharp focus in this excellent romp. I love Murderbot. Its journey to becoming fully sapient, instead of merely sentient, is full of the most delightful lines and aperçus: I guess you can’t tell a story from the point of view of something that you don’t think has a point of view. and “Sometimes people do things to you that you can’t do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on.” I can't help but I loved it! More later. *** Murderbot's shocking actions at the end of All Systems Red come into sharp focus in this excellent romp. I love Murderbot. Its journey to becoming fully sapient, instead of merely sentient, is full of the most delightful lines and aperçus: I guess you can’t tell a story from the point of view of something that you don’t think has a point of view. and “Sometimes people do things to you that you can’t do anything about. You just have to survive it and go on.” I can't help but feel that sapience is its gift already, it just doesn't know it. It takes more than sentience to desire truth over comfort: “I need to know if the incident occurred due to a catastrophic failure of my governor module. That’s what I think happened. But I need to know for sure.” I hesitated, but what the hell, {ART} already knew everything else. “I need to know if I hacked my governor module in order to cause the incident.” and And now I knew why I hadn’t wanted to do this. It would make it harder for me to pretend not to be a person. Author Wells, I salute you. This tale, this entire series, is some very, very high quality misdirection! You're teaching us, you clever clogs, while making us laugh and diverting our executive functions with innocuous-looking packaging. The last words, in service of my point, belong to ART the, um, well let's say Murderbot's use of the acronym is both apt and necessary (and in the end is used by ART as its own name, in a very under-the-radar throwaway at the end of this volume): Young humans can be impulsive. The trick is keeping them around long enough to become old humans. This is what my crew tells me and my own observations seem to confirm it. Mommydaddy Murderbot concurs.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Milda Page Runner

    Well, I had a blast. Perhaps not as action packed as the first book, but I find main character’s personality and voice simply irresistible. It’s amazing how easy it is to connect with and care for this shy socially awkward robot. Martha’s Wells ironic tone and subtle humour really works for me as well. After having so much fun with the two of the Murderbot Diaries I’ve decided to check out other writer’s books. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    I was trying to isolate why I felt so uneasy. Trapped in a small enclosed space with humans, check. Missing my drones, check. My Giant Asshole Research Transport too busy to complain at, check. Needed to actually focus on what I was doing so couldn’t watch media, check. It’s been a joy to watch Murderbot’s continued struggle with being a sentient being. On the one hand trying (and choosing, actually) to protect its human clients while on the other hand still having a tendency of wanting to be I was trying to isolate why I felt so uneasy. Trapped in a small enclosed space with humans, check. Missing my drones, check. My Giant Asshole Research Transport too busy to complain at, check. Needed to actually focus on what I was doing so couldn’t watch media, check. It’s been a joy to watch Murderbot’s continued struggle with being a sentient being. On the one hand trying (and choosing, actually) to protect its human clients while on the other hand still having a tendency of wanting to be left alone by those dim-witted meatballs and instead watch its beloved entertainment feeds. There’s also the addition of ART, another AI, which turned out to be a good idea, since interactions between the two are very entertaining. Add to that the fact that Murderbot has to disguise as an augmented human, which makes it very very uncomfortable. Yes, the giant transport bot is going to help the construct SecUnit pretend to be human. This will go well. Yes, it's been fun. But this second novella reads a bit like a side-story. Plot-wise it was very thin. I’ve got the feeling this series would be better suited to be read as a whole. So the way to go seems for me to get hold of the next two books in the series and then start reading from the beginning. The four novellas amount to a sum of 646 pages. Which makes the ebooks seem quite expensive at a total of roughly 30 Euros. Is it worth it? After the first novella I would have answered this with a yes, I think so. Now it’s more of a it possibly might be. We’ll see what happens. You may have noticed that for a terrifying murderbot I fuck up a lot. Yes. Yes, I did. ;) Winner of the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novella 2018 Nebula Award finalist for Best Novella ____________________________ 2019 Hugo Award Finalists Best Novel • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers • Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse Best Novella • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells • Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire • Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor • The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson • The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard Best Novelette • If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho (Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog) • The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly (Tor.com) • Nine Last Days on Planet Earth by Daryl Gregory (Tor.com) • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com) • The Thing About Ghost Stories by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny Magazine) • When We Were Starless by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld Magazine) Best Short Story • The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed Magazine) • The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine) • The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine) • STET by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine) • The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine) • A Witch’s Guide To Escape: A Practical Compendium Of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine) Best Series • The Centenal Cycle by Malka Older • The Laundry Files by Charles Stross • Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee • The October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire • The Universe of Xuya by Aliette de Bodard • Wayfarers by Becky Chambers Best Related Work • Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works • Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee • The Hobbit Duology (a documentary in three parts), written and edited by Lindsay Ellis and Angelina Meehan • An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards 1953-2000 by Jo Walton • The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76 by Julia Rios, Libia Brenda, Pablo Defendini, and John Picacio • Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing by Ursula K. Le Guin with David Naimon Best Graphic Story • Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colors by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell • Black Panther: Long Live the King, written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino, and Tana Ford • Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda • On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden • Paper Girls, Volume 4 , written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher • Saga, Volume 9, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples Best Art Book • The Book of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin • Daydreamer’s Journey: The Art of Julie Dillon by Julie Dillon • Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History by Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Sam Witwer • Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, editor John Fleskes • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – The Art of the Movie by Ramin Zahed • Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, editor Catherine McIlwaine Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan Children’s Books) • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz) • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books) • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray) • The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books / Scholastic) • Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen) _________________ 2018 Nebula Award Finalists Best Novel • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor) • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK) • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK) • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan) • Witchmark by C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing) • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga) Best Novella • Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi) • The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing) • The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean) • Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield (Tor.com Publishing) • Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing) • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing) Best Novelette • The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing) • The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly (Tor.com 7/11/18) • An Agent of Utopia by Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia) • The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births by José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed 1/18) • The Rule of Three by Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest 12/18) • Messenger by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4) Best Short Story • Interview for the End of the World by Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars) • The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18) • Going Dark by Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear) • And Yet by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18) • A Witch’s Guide To Escape: A Practical Compendium Of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18) • The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18) Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan) • Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents) • A Light in the Dark by A.K. Du Boff (BDL) • Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Random House) • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray) • Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien (Henry Holt)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    "I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it." Oh Murderbot, I didn't realize how much I missed you. Welcome back everyone, to the second Murderbot Diaries novella, staring my absolute favorite misanthropic construct. Murderbot, despite its name, actually does very little murdering and really just comes off as an introvert who would rather stay home and watch soap operas (space soap operas of course), but instead gets stuck in "I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it." Oh Murderbot, I didn't realize how much I missed you. Welcome back everyone, to the second Murderbot Diaries novella, staring my absolute favorite misanthropic construct. Murderbot, despite its name, actually does very little murdering and really just comes off as an introvert who would rather stay home and watch soap operas (space soap operas of course), but instead gets stuck in situations where, it may upon occasions, have to maybe... just maybe... murder something. "I didn't stop in my tracks because I have a lot of practice in not physically reacting to things no matter how much they shock or horrify me." After the events of the previous novel, Murderbot makes a new not-friend dubbed Art (which stands for Asshole Research Transport, because Murderbot is so wonderful at giving names to things) and finds itself back on the mining facility where it went rogue. Seeking answers to what actually happened proves more difficult than planned, and Murderbot again finds itself helping a group of humans. This book is a delight from start to finish. Murderbot continues to be sarcastic, snide, and a bit more kindhearted than one would expect given the name. The inclusion of Art is also wonderful, as it makes a nice contrast to Murderbot's personality (and their interactions with each other are a delight to read). One area that this book improves upon the original is the world building. Where the first one was stuck mostly on an isolated planet, and became something of a survival story, this one has a more cyberpunk feel, with a great deal of hacking, evil corporations controlling seemingly everything and jumping through settings that would feel at home on a Blade Runner set. This gave me a greater sense of the universe our robot friend inhabits and was a pleasant change of pace. That said, I found myself missing Murderbot's old meatbag not-friends, as with the changes that have come about, I think it would have been interesting to see them along for the ride. Overall I cannot recommend this series enough. Despite the serious looking covers and titles, these books are easily the funniest thing to happen to science fiction since Douglas Adams decided to take up Hitchhiking. A solid 4/5 stars and a recommendation to pretty much everyone (with the notation that you should read All Systems Red first).

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.