bluemeridian: (NF :: Reading with Ponytails)
[personal profile] bluemeridian
Life, General )

On other topics entirely, All Systems Red by Martha Wells! It's a novella-length story that I'd been hearing good things about and sounded like it was up my alley, so I read it this afternoon. I did love it as it turns out. It's been compared to Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice more than once for the way it deals with AI being more autonomous than the people using it actually comprehended and the related identity politics observed and experienced as a result. That's where the similarities end, I think, but they both do those things well so it's fair to say that if you like one, you may well like the other (as I did).

However, I have some Thoughts about All Systems Red, namely that it also works as a pre-canon, slightly AU back story for Bubbles of Questionable Content. For anyone unaware, QC is an online comic set in a world pretty similar to our own with the addition of autonomous AI robots. Unlike Murderbot of All Systems Red, Bubbles is a combat AI vs a security AI (which Murderbot specifically distinguishes between), but she's quite shy and has a very dry sense of humor. She's no longer in combat due to Tragic Back Story: after all the rest of her unit died, the memories were sufficiently traumatizing that she voluntarily had them blocked.

Bubbles has only been appearing in QC since, oh, sometime in the last year? One of the main characters got a new job and Bubbles was one of her new co-workers (I'm leaving out a WHOLE LOT about consequences of alcoholism, an illegal robot fighting ring, blackmail, welding, and tea sniffing), but she's become a major character by association and it is delightful. I immediately started picturing Bubbles shortly after I started All Systems Red and now it's firmly lodged in my brain as a fancast.

All Systems Red is an excellent story that I can recommend regardless, but I've been following QC for 2 or 3 years now and highly recommend it as well. It's a long running comic and I'm under the vague impression the earlier strips and story lines leaned heavier on the Pintsize's scatalogical and pornographic rudeness, but regardless, at this point it's a good mix with interesting story lines, a good serious/humor balance, and great characters.

NOW I have a third of the day left and need to decide which KJ Charles book I'm going to start. I read The Magpie Lord recently and loved it, but I don't want to jump into the rest of that series too quick. I have A Queer Trade (same universe, different characters, novella length) and An Unseen Attraction (different series), but there's also Think of England (also a different series) which has a coda online that I have bookmarked. Decisions decisions decisions.


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The exquisite itch

October 2015

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