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Artificial Condition

by Martha Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Murderbot Diaries (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0317813,777 (4.2)150
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 vessal 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.… (more)
Recently added byDemetriosX, AMQS, private library, NinaLubbren, oldenoughdk, Binnorie, Oakfairy, jdhenze, lindab



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» See also 150 mentions

English (76)  French (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Artificial Condition picks up right where All Systems Red left off. Murderbot is now all on its own, with no real plans beyond not getting caught and spending as much time as possible watching as much media as possible. However, there is one question it wants answered, and in order to do that it will have to travel to RaviHyral Mining Facility Q Station, the place where it once went rogue and killed a bunch of humans.

This entry in the series introduced a new character I liked a lot, ART, a scarily powerful research transport. I really enjoyed the early scenes in which ART and Murderbot watched serials together, although they also made a nice team once Murderbot took a job as a security consultant. It was sweet of ART to play the soundtrack to Murderbot's favorite serial to comfort it when it was upset.

Murderbot's discoveries at the mining facility where it went rogue were both tragic and a bit of a letdown. I was expecting something more, considering the amount of effort that went into finding and getting to the place. I don't know, it's possible one of the later entries in the series ties back into that incident.

In order to get to the facility without being found out, Murderbot had to pretend to be an augmented human working as a security consultant. That part of the story had a bit more action, although Murderbot had to tone it down some in order to avoid being discovered as a rogue SecUnit. I admit, I spent a good bit of the story worried that Murderbot was going to forget that it couldn't let itself get as damaged as it did in the first story without giving away what it was or otherwise ending up in serious trouble, but it was still nice seeing it back at work again, trying and failing not to care about its humans.

This story also put the spotlight a bit more on ComfortUnits (sexbots), which did not go at all the way I expected, although I suppose I should have trusted Wells more.

Anyway, I enjoyed this, although I wish it had been longer and still think it would have been better to release all the novellas in a single collection. I'm glad that I already own Rogue Protocol and can move right along to reading it.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Jul 11, 2020 |
Murderbot is a SecUnit – a security unit designed by humans to be mostly enhanced robot and sophisticated computer with some cloned human bits. But although physically it seems to be more machine than human, it’s actually a sympathetic, self-aware character that downloads reams of human media shows to binge watch when it is bored or stressed. It also has a lovely, snarky sense of humor, and is very shy when humans see it without its armor.

In this second novella, Murderbot, now a free agent, slips away from the humans it is living with, to see if it can find out the truth about its past and the dozens of humans it vaguely remembers killing.

Along the way it meets up with a lovely sentient space ship. Knowing that the spaceship is also probably bored, Murderbot asks the ship to let it sneak aboard in exchange for access to Murderbot’s wide collection of videos. He discovers the ship to be much more than a being with whom to binge watch his favorite shows.

Although Murderbot is able to discover much about its past, it leaves one with more questions about sentience and machines having more humanity than humans. ( )
  streamsong | Jul 9, 2020 |
On their own now, having been "adopted" by the folks they helped in the previous novel, they run away -- or rather --toward the planet where the terrible thing (mentioned above) happened. They want to know if they somehow became truly murderous and killed 57 people in a mining facility. On the way they become friendly(ish) with a sentient ship and then, in order to get access to the mining site, accept a job as an augmented human security person. I am loving this series, and as one reader wrote recently (a propos of sf in general): The more preposterous the better! The next one comes out in about two weeks, and you bet, I've pre-ordered it! ****1/2 ( )
  sibylline | Jul 4, 2020 |
Murderbots don't sulk
wanted a ride, not a friend
talking is stressful. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
2.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | Jun 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
There’s plenty here to entertain the many fans of the first novella.
added by rretzler | editPublishers Weekly (pay site) (Jun 11, 2018)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martha Wellsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Böhmert, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foltzer, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, JaimeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montier, MathildeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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SecUnits don't care about the news.
(Armour doesn’t have pockets, so score one for ordinary human clothing.)
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