It’s always a treat to read a Martha Wells story, and it turns out that her Murderbot Diaries are an especial delight ... Artificial Condition is a story that balances its disparate elements with exceptional skill. It’s perfectly paced, and Wells brings both a strong sense of humour and deep pathos to Murderbot’s character and to their voice ... There’s plenty of cool shit in this space operatic future, and Wells makes excellent use of the varied potential of her setting for different sorts of stories ... Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol are tight, tense, entertaining adventure stories that nonetheless have quite a lot to say about ethics, power, and personhood. I recommend them wholeheartedly.
Everyone’s favorite killer cyborg returns ... this novella’s chief strength is Murderbot’s narration. Snarky, independent, and keen to be left alone, Murderbot is an AI like no other. Their quest to discover their origins only increases the depth of their character ... Wells has also shown skill writing from an alien point-of-view in her celebrated Raksura fantasy novels...and she has turned it to good effect with her title character here ... Wells realistically shows us the slow-budding, often prickly relationship between Murderbot and another artificial mind ... This volume (the first of three out in 2018) reveals more of the world, and gives us more of the worldbuilding the first novella only hinted at ... Artificial Condition answers key questions about the characters and the world and sets up mysteries to be unpacked in future installments.
Wells could have easily written Murderbot as a typically alien-sounding robotic character, but she chooses to to make it a relatable protagonist instead ... Murderbot is, if nothing else, a funny companion for an afternoon of light-hearted reading ... The reader will yearn for each tale to last even longer.
Wells follows the classically tight adventure pacing of All Systems Red with a slightly disorienting shift to self-exploration ... Sounds like a rollicking time—which it is, but not in the way one might expect ... the dizzying, inarguable plenitude of personhood is what this dense novella most intimately explores. There’s plenty here to entertain the many fans of the first novella.
Murderbot is the narrator of the novella and its voice is tremendously engaging, dripping with sarcasm ... Cue hilarious moments when two robots try to learn ways for Murderbot to behave like a person would—snags and all ... Murderbot’s narrative offers another delectable adventure full of fun, laughter and heart.