Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

System Collapse

Sunday, November 19, 2023

System Collapse (2023) Martha Wells (Murderbot Diaries)

System CollapseMURDERBOT!

This story picks up immediately following the events of Network Effect–ART and Murderbot are trying to keep their humans safe from the Barish-Estranza corporation while forging a planetary charter and waiting for reinforcement from ART’s university.

It’s going as it always does for Murderbot.

So the next time I get optimistic about something, I want one of you to punch me in the face. Okay, not really, because let’s be real, that would end badly. Maybe remind me to punch myself in the face.

On the team feed, ART said, SecUnit, status report.

Or punch ART in the face. I sent back, I wish I could punch you in the face.

ART said, I wish you could try.

I love every new thing we learn about ART.

(According to Martyn, ART is of course capable of doing its own accounting, but it always ends up with extra numbers that no one can trace. So now Turi does it and has to keep a hardcopy ledger because otherwise ART would alter their data. No one knew if ART was making up numbers for the hell of it or if these numbers represented actual credit balances that ART was hiding somewhere.)

And ART’s interactions.

ART transmitted, You can make this complicated situation simple for me. Which I can tell you was not any kind of posturing, it 100 percent meant that. Barish-Estranza must have picked up on that subtext because they backed down and now they think ART is a human commanding officer who’s a giant asshole.

ART doesn’t enjoy terrifying people, it enjoys getting its own way and it has a variety of techniques it finds effective for that and vaguely or not-so-vaguely threatening statements are sure one of them. Iris is also correct that ART is still processing its traumatic experience and the fact that it had such a great result with arming its pathfinders and making the colonists think it was about to bomb the crap out of them is maybe something we should worry about, but I just have a lot to do right now, okay.

On of the things this story looks into is how Murderbot is dealing with the events that happened since it met Dr Mensha and her group.

I realized I was sitting in a huddle on the floor, my face buried in my hands. When I looked up, ART-drone said, What happened? I didn’t want to interrupt while your stats indicated a positive development.

I said, I had an idea.

I liked it, but I need to reread it; I don’t have a lot of focus right now, and found myself having to reread passages.

Publisher: Tordotcom

Rating: 8.5/10


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