“Much like the anxiety-ridden but good-hearted Murderbot itself, this series is a delight, carefully balancing snark and other humor without ever concealing (or even really trying to conceal) the real and serious character work and emotional intensity that’s at work here. Wells doesn’t downplay the trauma and existential questions the underpin parts of the story, but also keeps it swift-moving and delightful, partly by respecting those aspects of the story instead of trying to gloss over them. As before, Murderbot makes for a wonderful protagonist and narrative voice, one of the most compelling reluctant heroes science fiction has seen in a while.” — RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, Top Pick!
The 2018 Locus Awards finalists have been announced, and they include Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee (for best Science Fiction Novel), The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear (for best Fantasy Novel), All Systems Red by Martha Wells (for best Novella), “The Worshipful Society of Glovers” by Mary Robinette Kowal (for best Novelette), and “Extracurricular Activities” by Yoon Ha Lee (also for best Novelette)!
“Everyone’s favorite Murderbot is back. The second installment in Wells’ Murderbot Diaries picks up where All Systems Red (2017) left off, with the series’ titular character seeking answers to its origin by traveling back to where it first went rogue to learn what really happened. Along the way, it makes friends with an intelligent research transport ship and agrees to protect a group of naive researchers whose discoveries make them a target for murder. Murderbot is one of the most delightful characters in current science fiction: a killing machine who chooses to be a good person, a robot who suffers from crippling social anxiety, a sarcastic misanthrope who really just wants to be left alone to watch TV. The relationship between Murderbot and ART (the intelligent ship) adds an entertaining The Odd Couple element to the story. Like the first book, this one is a fast, fun, exciting read, and the series keeps getting funnier. Perfect entertainment for a quiet evening.” — Booklist
“Bear deftly weaves this exploration of relationships and vulnerabilities, betrayal and compromise… Though this is a short volume—while being a long novella—the characters are elegantly drawn as entire individuals.
For all that Stone Mad has a lot to say about relationships, it avoids didacticism. Bear has an argument here, but it’s definitely an argument, with no easy answers. The only answer, it seems, is compassion and choosing to be kind—the same vein of kindness that runs underneath the entire story.
I loved Stone Mad. I found it powerful and deeply full of meaning. As well as entertaining: Karen is a magnificently engaging character, and a compelling one. I hope to see Bear write more about her, because she’s enormously fun.” — Tor.com
“Bear’s Karen Memory (2015) introduced her stubborn and spunky heroine, Karen Memery, a teenage sex worker who saved her late-1870s Pacific Northwest town from threats foreign and domestic. Now Karen and her beloved, Priya, are preparing to enjoy their first night in their new home when traveling spiritualists dredge up an old, seemingly supernatural mystery poised to cause mayhem. Naturally, Karen wants to investigate. Though this novel lacks the scope and some of the sheer raucousness of the first, all of the characteristics that make Karen memorable are glowingly apparent on every page. Elements that would feel clunky from a less talented author—such as Karen’s habit of constantly flinging herself headlong into danger because of deep regrets about her past—all seem natural and inevitable by the finish. Subtle touches guarantee that every character is colorful, no matter how fleetingly introduced. Bear’s fans will definitely want to catch Karen’s latest adventure.” — Publishers Weekly
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