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Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition

by Martha Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Murderbot Diaries (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9616814,890 (4.21)135
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 byprivate library, pinax, Familiar_Diversions, Busifer, jr231, Guide2, Sakerfalcon, wildwily, ZoharLaor



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English (67)  French (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Very good second novella in this setting. The Murderbot makes new friends in a new setting and that makes for an enjoyable story given how well written it is. ( )
  Guide2 | May 29, 2020 |
For more reviews or bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells follows the progression of a cyborg security unit that has become self-aware and is trying to navigate the complexities of humans, which often borders on stupidity. Ms. Wells is an award winning writer, whose works include many fantasy, science-fiction, and non-fiction books.

Murderbot, a SecUnit that has become self-aware by hacking itself, has found a ride to on a Research Transport vessel named ART to the mining facility where it first went rogue.

In order to have a pre-text to go to the scene of the alleged murders it aligns itself with some workers who, naively, believe that a corporation will return their stolen data for the peanuts they paid them in signing bonuses.

I enjoyed this book very much, just as much if not more than the first. This is despite that half of Artificial Condition (Book 2 of 4 in the Murderbot Diaries Series) by Martha Wells revolves around two bots in an empty transport ship.

The technological aspects that the author writers about are very creative, and one can see that she put in a lot of thought into them. The bot that powers the transport ship, ART, is a lot more powerful than what the protagonist, Murderbot, thinks it is and I think that reflects current technology where we are just starting to figure out all the bots that we interact with (personal assistants, search engines, navigation devices) are very powerful indeed. They might not have be a self-conscious, depressed bot or one that enjoys TV shows, but they do, and know, a lot more than we give them credit for.

Murderbot is trying to decoded humans for much of the book, he has to learn how to read facial expressions and little movements. Worst, he has to learn how to make facial expressions and little movements. Those observations, for me, were very interesting, funny, and most of the time spot on.

In this book, Murderbot learns a lot more about himself and his past life, before his memory was erased. He still has glimpses of his past due to his biological features that technology cannot erase. As with the first book, the adventure story is just a background for, Murderbot to investigate possible connections between past incidents and the one that he is investigating.

Reading how Murderbot starting to appreciate that he has the freedom to make choices, help others when needed was, for me, the central theme of this book. As in the first novella, the dry humor and poignant observations really elevated the storyline. ( )
  ZoharLaor | May 28, 2020 |
**The Artificial Condition** is the second volume of *Martha Wells*' Murderbot series, and it's definitely better than the first one. I see why people love Murderbot, now – they, and their interaction with both humans and other bots, are bittersweet and relatable. In this second volume, Murderbot has to figure out what to do with their freedom, and they use it well – to examine their past, and work on ways to live their future. I enjoyed that while the protagonist is snarky, the snarkiness isn't overdone at all, and leaves spaces for cleverness, and vulnerability, and all kinds of connections to other people. ( )
  _rixx_ | May 24, 2020 |
This is a great second installment of the Murderbot Diaries. I love the humor and humanity Wells writes into Murderbot, and I'm glad we got to meet some other bots/constructs in this volume rather than having all the secondary characters be human. (Though now I want a follow-up story with that particular sexbot.) There's not much I can say about this story without spoilers — and it's a novella, so you can read it yourself without too much time investment — but I love the way the story is moving and I'm curious to see what answers we get in the next volumes. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
The Murderbot Diaries strangely appeal to me. As I’m still on my way to the full length novel, recently published, I’m wondering at the simple elegance and straightforwardness of the novellas.

This second instalment in the series is, thankfully, pretty much more of the same in a very good way. We still get a good view of a “construct” that’s basically a robot with human parts - and it shows: Murderbot feels slightly like it’s a person on the autism scale:

“I skimmed it but most of my attention was on getting through the crowd while pretending to be an ordinary augmented human, and not a terrifying murderbot. This involved not panicking when anybody accidentally made eye contact with me.”

This time, Murderbot is literally and metaphorically on a journey: Having recently run away from its benefactor of the first novella, Dr. Mensah, it’s now literally on the way to dig into its own - murderous? - past. Metaphorically speaking, Murderbot is on a journey to find itself, to find out what it actually wants - if having a guardian is actually the same as having an owner and other questions.

“On the way to this transit ring, alone on my empty cargo transport, I had had a chance to do a lot of thinking about why I had left Mensah, and what I wanted. I know, it was a surprise to me, too. But even I knew I couldn’t spend the rest of my lifespan alone riding cargo transports and consuming media, as attractive as it sounded.”

Fortunately, it finds a friend in ART, a Research Transport, with computing power beyond even its own comprehension. When Murderbot gets itself hired by a human “crew”, things quickly become complicated because lurking beneath waves of “non-caring” is a complicated being that has more in common with us humans than it likes to admit. Murderbot feels more compelled to help its humans by them asking it to than it ever was by its long-gone governor chip. And yet it’s still the socially-impaired escapist media junky:

“I wanted to just sink into my media downloads for a while and pretend I didn’t exist.”

Murderbot acts uncompromisingly human and is just as full of flaws as the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us, though, it transcends those flaws if it has to.

If that doesn’t give the rest of us nerds hope, what could?

Suspenseful, intelligent, cool science fiction.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram ( )
  philantrop | May 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (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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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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