I enjoyed the first entry in this series, and I enjoyed it because y’all told me I would! Murderbot is a much-loved (and rightfully so) character here at CBR, and after reading the first entry back in November, I tried to pace myself. Well, I waited until a whole new YEAR *cough cough few months* before diving back in! I didn’t want to do what I did with Becky Chambers earlier last year – read through everything then spend the rest of time impatiently waiting for new releases- so I allowed myself one Murderbot diary entry to celebrate 2021. Will I wait until 2022 to read the next piece?
NO! I already cued it up on Scribd. Oops!
There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said- and said well- by CBR reviewers already, and there also isn’t too much I can say without giving spoilers- so instead, I will frame my favorite piece of the story within an anecdote of my own:
There’s a wonderful scene fairly early on where Murderbot is sharing “entertainment” with another construct of a different nature, and ART (the name of our new friend) needs to process Murderbot’s reactions to the show in order to understand it from their perspective. In the past, ART had only watched things through human crew, and now they were learning how it feels for others to enjoy those same properties. I had a student a few years ago who loved all-things-Godzilla- there was no other thing on Earth that he loved more. The classics, the comics, the action figures- anything within the Godzilla mythos and he was on-board. When the latest Godzilla movie was announced, he was obviously beyond excited. I hadn’t seen him in a few days, but when we saw each other again he could not WAIT to tell me that there was a new trailer, and he asked if we could watch it together.
We loaded up the trailer on the computer, and he stared at me for the first 30 seconds. He was staring with a HUGE smile. I asked him why he wasn’t watching- wasn’t he excited? He said “oh no, I’ve already seen it 30 times. I need to watch you see it!” He watched me silently through the end of the trailer, then asked if we could watch it again so he could describe all of the characters for me. We shared a moment in ways that worked for both of us individually, and shared a moment where we taught each other about the way that we enjoy the things that we enjoy.
Now, any time that I find myself in a crisis of communication with anyone, I think about that moment. That moment came flooding into me again while listening to Artificial Condition, and I couldn’t wait to share it again.