System Collapse, the latest in the science fiction series of novellas-approaching-novels by Martha Wells, was released four days ago. I did extra housework to get in the listening time so I could discuss it today. My floors are looking nice.
Murderbot is a security unit, a construct of human and machine parts. Its job is to provide security to a group of human researchers, who keep getting into mortal peril when they visit other planets. Its likes include watching soap operas. Its dislikes include getting attached to humans, who are messy and complicated.
Narrator Kevin R. Free does such a good job with this series. I am especially fond of the voice he does for ART, the sentient research vessel that steals every scene it's in. I'm almost as fond of ART as I am of Murderbot. Don't tell Murderbot I said that.
Don't start with this one of you're new to the Murderbot Diaries. Go back to the beginning with All Systems Red.
I realize I haven't said anything about this book specifically. I don't think I'll go into plot details, but I'll say that it made me feel some feelings the same way poor Murderbot felt them.
"I was having an emotion, like a big, overwhelming emotion. It felt bad but good, a weird combination of happy and sad and relieved, like something had been stuck and wasn't stuck anymore. Cathartic, okay? This fits the definition of cathartic."
When Covid first hit, I started doing book talks on social media as a way to keep in touch with people. I never got out of the habit. I don't discuss books by my clients, and if I don't like a book, I won't discuss it at all. While I will sometimes focus on craft or offer gentle critical perspectives, as a matter of professional courtesy, I don't trash writers. Unless they're dead. Then the gloves come off.