Martha Well’s Artificial Condition is the second of her Murderbot novellas. As much as I loved the first one, I was kind of unsure as to whether a sequel would really work as well—it felt like maybe one of those works where everything comes together perfectly and trying to recapture the feel of it without getting stale might not work, you know?
But I shouldn’t have been concerned, because this is absolutely great. Murderbot remains a superb narrator (I mentioned in my last post that Oar from Ascending is one of my favorite protagonists; Murderbot is right up there), and ART is a great supporting character. And the situation in this book is very much not a reprise of the first story—things are moving forward for Murderbot, but without losing what makes the character appealing.
A fast-paced story, wonderful characters, a great narrative voice, and enough character development that it feels like more than just empty fun. I’m totally in for as much Murderbot as Wells wants to write at this point. Recommended for just about anyone.