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Old 28 May 2018, 10:25 PM
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Cure the Blues Cure the Blues is offline
Join Date: 31 July 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,038

I finished reading Artificial Condition, the second novella in Martha Wells' new series, The Murderbot Diaries. Basically, the backstory is that a machine/biological hybrid went on a murderous rampage and had its memory partially wiped. The biological bits are the reason it has any remembrance of the occasion and it has named itself Murderbot. It deactivated its governor module, which in most books would be a Very Bad, No Good Thing, but in this case the killing spree had been caused by corruption in the module that forced Murderbot to murder its charges. It still has an underlying desire to protect the naive humans from silly decisions that will get them killed, but it's deeply uncomfortable at social interactions and prefers to vicariously experience the world through serialized video dramas. Particularly The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon. Murderbot really likes Sanctuary Moon in the same way I like Michael Schur sitcoms. The first book had Murderbot stationed with a planetary exploration group, where it did all three of these things: tried to protect the humans, was super uncomfortable when they attempted to include Murderbot in the group dynamic, and binge-watched Sanctuary Moon to cope with the discomfort. In Artificial Condition, Murderbot heads back to the site of the mining disaster where the Murderbotting happened to fill in its missing memories.

I'm now early into Tim Powers' Declare, which can best be described as a Cold War supernatural spy thriller, with Kim Philby in a significant cameo. Apparently, British ultra-secret spy societies recruit young, since the protagonist was brought into Operation Declare at 7, and was told to "not--worry" because he was on their rolls. This one of the most unreassuring reassurances ever.
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