Random (but not really)

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Books of 2021: Everything Else

Science Fiction

All Systems RedThe Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

All Systems Red (2017) 9/10, Artificial Condition (2018) 8.5/10, Rogue Protocol (2018) 8.5/10, Exit Strategy (2018) 8.5/10, Network Effect (2020) 9/10, Fugitive Telemetry (2021) 9/10

Late to the game, I know. But in my defense, I tend to dislike science fiction, with just a handful of exceptions.

This is one of those exceptions.

I mean, this is the opening paragraph of the first novella.

I COULD HAVE BECOME a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.

And it just gets better from there. I still have the latest book to read, but that’s I’ve been taking my time and savoring the stories.



Tales from the FollyTales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection (2020) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by: the author, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Ben Elliot, Felix Grainger, Sam Peter Jackson, Alex Kingston, Shvorne Marks, and Penelope Rawlins 8.5/10

Fantasy, Anthology

Despite there being other narrators besides Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, this was a great collection. Because of course we do get some Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, but we also get other narrators for other characters (such as Abigail).

I’ve always found Toby a pretty reliable magic detector. I’ve actually done controlled laboratory experiments that indicate that he can detect magical activity up to ten metres away, although false positives can be generated by cats, other dogs and the remote possibility of a sausage.

But most of all, Peter.


Murderbot Audio Editions: All Systems Red, (2017), Artificial Condition, Audio Edition (2018), Rogue Protocol, Audio Edition (2018), Martha Wells narrated by Kevin R. Free

Although the voice doesn’t quite match what I heard in my head, it is still very good.

When constructs were first developed, they were originally supposed to have a pre-sentient level of intelligence, like the dumber variety of bot. But you can’t put something as dumb as a hauler bot in charge of security for anything without spending even more money for expensive company-employed human supervisors. So they made us smarter. The anxiety and depression were side effects.

Because: Murderbot



Lady Mechanika Vol 6

Lady Mechanika: Sangre (2020) by Joe Benitez, M.M. Chen, Brian Ching, Martin Montiel 8/10


I love the story, but I also utterly adore the art.

Lady Mechanika Vol 6

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