Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

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Roars and Echoes.


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58 thoughts on “Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

    1. Thanks Nadine! Yes, I think it’s worth trying continuing. Maybe a price drop will be the best inciter for you at this point. 😛 Good thing these just novellas though. You’ll probably blitz through them within an hour! 😀

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  1. Lashaan: thanks for another great review – I thought the way you summarized themes was spot on. I’ve read both books and I’m waiting on the third – should be arriving soon. I actually thought Artificial Condition was a better book – much richer. The only complaint I had was the way these are being released – 4 novellas over an 18 month period – all of which serve the same story arc. There’ s a revenue maximization strategy here that’s sensible but punishes the fans a bit. Otherwise, great books. Cheers, Brian

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Brian! I appreciate it. 🙂 It is indeed a step in the right direction and a solid improvement to the first book. I totally agree that these could’ve been put together in one book instead of making a series of novellas. The author actually announced a fifth book in this series recently. It won’t be a novella, but an actual full-fledged novel!

      Check out this article for more details: https://www.tor.com/2018/07/16/more-murderbot-on-the-horizon-announcing-a-new-martha-wells-novel/

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      1. That is great news and new to me – thank you. The last new news I saw was that they were re-releasing a hardcover edition of All Systems Red for compulsive collectors like me. 😉

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        1. It was about time! 😀 Nothing more odd than a mix of hardcovers and paperbacks of the same series. And even worse when it’s a mix of hardcovers, paperbacks and mass paperback! I totally understand your struggle, sir. 😀

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    1. Indeed! And these being novellas makes it quick and easy to get into. Love the covers too. Book 3 and 4 have pretty ones too. The artist has been doing a bunch of covers for Tor books in the past years and I can see why! 😀

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  2. Ha, there are times when I feel like I suffer existential crisis’s every day so maybe this is a series I should check out myself! 😀
    Great review Lashaan, I remember reading your review for the first book in this collection so I’m really glad you enjoyed the second one as well. It certainly sounds like the author has built on what was written in All Systems Red, and I know I’ve probably said this before but I love the fact that the Murderbot has no gender too. It’s got to make for an interesting reading experience. 🙂
    Again great review, 😀 ❤

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    1. Hahahah an introverted android who loves to watch TV series is something A LOT of bookworms can relate to too! 😀

      Thank you so much, Beth! Yep, this Murderbot’s desire to not be associated to any gender is quite intriguing. It actually finds all things related to sex repulsive hahaah

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  3. I’m really not sure what you mean by “Martha Wells also pushes her pro-genderless agenda even further in Artificial Condition by introducing another genderless character with its own pronouns. I’ve never really been a huge advocate of the idea”. I’m a nonbinary person who uses neutral pronouns (e/em or they/them) and it’s not an agenda or an idea, it’s how many people identify and live. I’m sure you didn’t mean to be offensive, but this phrasing is very unkind towards people like me.

    I love the Murderbot Diaries so I was originally going to live a gushing comment, but this really jumped out at me.

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    1. I’m so sorry that you felt offended by that phrasing. It was indeed not meant to be offensive in any way possible. When I say I’m not a huge advocate of the idea, I meant the creation of new pronouns that I’ve never seen before. In this case, pronouns like “ter” and “te” were used for the new nonbinary character. I will however change the term “agenda” as it does seem to suggest something pejorative and put “support”.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this review even if your desire to share your gushing comment about it was suppressed by that statement in my review. Have a wonderful week-end!

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      1. Thank you for the response, and I’m glad you decided to change the phrasing. I agree that many new pronouns can be confusing and I sometimes have to double-check the conjugation, but in my opinion, respecting the pronouns people personally feel comfortable with is the least we can do for each other. (I would also argue against using “genderless”, because nonbinary people don’t necessarily lack gender – our gender is just different from man or woman.)

        I agree that I really enjoyed Murderbot pretending to be human, and also interacting with other bots, who acted “more humanly” than we might have expected. 🙂

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        1. Your feedback is definitely appreciated and will surely leave a lasting impact on my future attempts to mention gender-neutral pronuns and people who nonbinary people. My first encounter of this was in Provenance by Ann Leckie and didn’t even know that it was a thing. I learn every day. 🙂

          I look forward to Rogue Protocol coming out early August! Hope you enjoy it too!

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          1. I’m glad that you are willing to learn and thank you for being receptive about it. I’ve never heard of Provenance but I might check it out!

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  4. Oohhh…I love the sound of this. I have always liked stories about robots that seem to question their own existence and are looking for answers to deeper questions like what it means to be human. I also feel this has a bit of a Bladerunner type of atmosphere to it, which is something that I am always interested in. So yeah…you did it again: wonderful review and one that I now of course have to add to my to read list 😊

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    1. And it being a novella definitely makes it easy for anyone to dive into it and find out what it’s all about! 😀 Oh yes, I do love stories that have a deeper abstraction to them. It just makes for a much more satisfying read. Just like the book that inspired Bladerunner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). Thoroughly enjoyed that one (I don’t think you saw my review for that, did you?). Thanks for the kind words, Michel. I always appreciate hearing your thoughts on everything!

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      1. That really is a plus. I am way behind on reading books/novels (mostly because I can’t bring myself to walk away from watching movies/anime/korean dramas lol). But I am trying to finally reserve a few hours to read every day 😊 As for the review you mentioned, I don’t think I have. I tried searching for it, but only came up with a review from Trang for Bladerunner 2049. Do you have a link for that one? 😊

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    1. Hahah I’m glad to hear so, Danielle! Hope your time will be fun and interesting! 😉 Will look forward to your thoughts on it when you get around to it. Or feel free to drop by on my review of the first one if you don’t review it yourself! 😀

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    1. It’s something that you find in some science fiction novels nowadays. Ann Leckie is an author who does it a lot in her novels. Imagine reading pronouns like “ter”, “tem” and “tey”. 😂 Not easy to adjust to it. The first I saw things like those, I though they were typos LOL

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  5. Awesome review!
    I really need to get into this series…
    I’m even flirting with the idea of just abandoning my reading challenge i’m doing. So far it’s less fun and more distraction. Really not what i thought.

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    1. Thanks Norrie! Waaah, that sounds terrible. I’ve never been a big fan of those reading challenges that make you pick up various books based on a certain criteria, but man, I wouldn’t recommend forcing yourself to complete something like that! A lil bit of Murderbot inbetween your books could be the perfect solution. 😏

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  6. Thanks for the great review! Will recommend this series to my writing partner. Didn’t know these were novellas, these should be a quick read. Maybe in the future, they’ll put them all together. Sometimes an idea starts out as short exploration, then grows outside its confines. Glad to hear a full length novel is coming. ♥️

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    1. Thanks! 😁 Hope your partner likes it! Yep. These are nice ol’ novellas, and yep, I think the author realized how much potential her idea has and much fans love her Murderbot now. A full novel will be a treat!

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  7. There’s a SECOND murderbot book?? HOW DID I MISS THIS?! Well, going to have to get on that. I really enjoyed “All Systems Red” I love the idea if things that “shouldn’t have feelings” having an existential crisis. It’s the reason the Scarecrow is my favourite character in “the Wizard of Oz” 😁💖

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    1. There’s actually a third one out already now, Rogue Protocol! And yep, you’ll probably have even more fun with the second novella. The author also plans on releasing a full novel after the 4th novella. Plenty of Murderbot to come. 😉 Ouuuh, I think you’re the first person to tell me that your favourite is Scarecrow, but I do love your reason for your love for him! 😁

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      1. Ooo… I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the rest!! And… WHAAAA A??? No one likes scarecrow?! But he, could “while away the hours, conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain”
        And he’d “unravel every riddle, for my individdle, in trouble or in pain…”
        Who doesn’t love him?? Silly people. 🙄😉

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        1. Ahhaha it’s really rare, but to be honest, I don’t often hear people point at a particular character, they usually show a more global love for that classic movie! Have you ever tried reading the books? I wonder what Scarecrow is really like there! 😱 Unless those quotes are straight out of the books! 😂

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