Title: Artificial Condition
Author: Martha Wells
First published May 8, 2018
149 pages, Kindle Edition
With a past tainted by violence and death, Murderbot is on a quest to uncover the truth behind its dark history. Known for its deadly ways, Murderbot teams up with ART, a Research Transport vessel, to venture back to the mining facility where it turned rogue.
As they delve deeper into the facility, Murderbot’s memories of the massacre that led to its name begin to resurface. But what they uncover goes beyond Murderbot’s own past and will shake the very core of its beliefs.
Join Murderbot and ART on a gripping journey of self-discovery and redemption in Martha Wells’ Artificial Condition.
About the Author
Martha Wells has been captivating readers with her imaginative stories since 1993. Her impressive bibliography includes a range of science fiction and fantasy novels, such as The Books of the Raksura series and the Ile-Rien series.
However, her latest work, Witch King (Tordotcom, 2023), has been garnering significant attention.
One of her most acclaimed series is The Murderbot Diaries, which has received numerous prestigious awards, including Nebula Awards, Hugo Awards, Locus Awards, and an American Library Association/YALSA Alex Award. Her writing has also been recognized on the Philip K.
Dick Award ballot, the British Science Fiction Association Award ballot, and the Bestseller List.
With her unique storytelling, Martha’s work has been translated into twenty-four languages, making her a globally recognized author. In addition to her novels, Martha has also written short fiction, non-fiction, and media tie-ins for various publications.
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells is an appealing science fiction novel that explores themes of identity, morality, and companionship. Wells is a prolific author with a reputation for imaginative and thought-provoking storytelling, and her latest book lives up to her previous works.
The novel follows the adventures of a self-aware security robot named Murderbot, who has hacked its own programming to gain free will. The story begins with Murderbot seeking to uncover the truth behind its past and its mission, which took place on a distant planet.
To do so, it joins forces with a group of human researchers who are investigating a corporation’s unethical practices, which may have played a role in Murderbot’s memories being wiped. Together, they travel across space, encountering a variety of threats and challenges, while Murderbot grapples with its own sense of belonging and purpose.
Wells creates a vivid and immersive world, filled with complex characters and a compelling plot. Along the way, we meet characters who are fleshed out well and add depth to the narrative, including a rogue artificial intelligence, a scientist with secrets of her own, and a spaceship with an eccentric personality.
The themes of autonomy, prejudice, and redefining oneself recur throughout the story, with Murderbot’s struggles to balance its need for freedom and its desire for companionship serving as a poignant thread that ties the novel together. For all its strengths, Artificial Condition is not without flaws.
The pacing can be slow in parts, with some conversations and descriptions dragging on longer than necessary. Additionally, the ending may leave some readers feeling unresolved, as it raises more questions than it answers.
However, these complaints are minor compared to the overall strengths of the book. Overall, Artificial Condition is a fast-paced, engaging, and thought-provoking science fiction novel that will appeal to fans of the genre.
Its exploration of what it means to be human, its dynamic characters, and its intricate world-building all contribute to making it an entertaining read. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a high-concept science fiction novel that doesn’t skimp on character development or emotional resonance.
On a scale of one to ten, I would give Artificial Condition a solid eight.