Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Also by this author: All Systems Red
Published by Tor.com / Tom Doherty Associates on May 8, 2018
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…
This is going to be a short and quick review.
Artificial Condition continues the series with all the same strengths that I made me enjoy All Systems Red. Once again we get the wonderfully snarky humor of Murderbot.
Murderbot gets to further expand her experiences and learn new coping skills sand this time Murderbot has found a friend, a fellow A.I. who maybe isn’t programmed to murder quite like Murderbot, but enough so that they understand each other, especially compared to their somewhat perplexing at times human companions. It’s a fun dynamic.
Again, since this is a novella, it is a short and quick read. I hate to go into too much detail for that reason. I will say this is very much a light and fun sci-fi read about a murderously inclined A.I. just trying to fit into a human world with a wonderfully sarcastic sense of humor. There is not a gender assignment for Murderbot, but internally, I refer to Murderbot as she, because really, it just feels female to me with the breaking of expected roles (programmed to murder, but wants to do her own thing instead) and a good dose of attitude and sarcasm to go with it. Maybe I’m wrong, but hey, I’m programmed to feel like using the pronoun “it” seems a disservice, making it seem less personalized or less human. Even it the character is not human, its thoughts and feelings are certainly human like. So yeah, I assigned female without really even meaning to. I am a bit curious what other readers have done. If they assume female or male, or managed to stay neutral.
Overall, this is yet another fun read, so I still recommend the series and plan to read on.