Update: Laptop woes, but also: Murderbot, yay!

Continuing technology woes: I’m taking my laptop back to the shop this afternoon, because they didn’t solve the problem. Or, I mean, they did. The solution held for 24 hours. The battery is now back to losing 25% of its charge per hour (at least). Tolerable, but good lord, and the machine is still under warranty, so let’s by all means get it fixed. The little spare I’m borrowing is fine for the meantime, and this time I’ve arranged to borrow it in advance, so the whole thing should be much less annoying overall.

As for progress … for the first time, I’m considering the possibility that I may be breaking Silver Circle in half. I mean, yes, I’ll be cutting it. But jeeze, it keeps stretching out and I’m still not even close to the endgame. In fact, I’m so far from the endgame that I’m still not sure how to get from where I’m standing now across the Chasm of the Uncertain Middle to the peak over there in the distance where the endgame is located. Visualize a chasm filled with mist. There’s a figurative bridge down there somewhere, I trust.

Well, who knows. I don’t need to make that decision immediately. Just as well, as coming up with subtitles will be a challenge if that turns out to be necessary.

Oh, I’m at 112,000 words, by the way. The question is therefore whether I’m looking at another 70,000 words (which would be fine) or another 112,000 words (which would mean I probably break the story in half). In either case, I’m assuming I’ll be cutting at least 30,000 words because that’s almost invariable when the book is this long.

Meanwhile! I read the recent Murderbot novella. I bet a lot of you have as well. What did you think? I liked it, but not as well as the previous novel. This novella begins directly after that novel and concerns the same basic players, right down to the colonists affected by the alien contamination.

The novel, I felt was slow and just okay until Murderbot gets aboard ART, finds ART is not there, and meets the hostiles. Then we have one of the best Murderbot lines of all time. (“First angry, then afraid, then dead. Is that the right order?”) This happens pretty early in the book.

This long novella, I felt was just okay until … I don’t want to spoil anything … until about the halfway mark or maybe a bit farther in.

One thing puzzled me kind of a lot — what happened to the colonists who were most affected by the alien contamination in the previous book? Are they all dead? Because everyone seems to be interacting with the colonists as though that set of colonists isn’t a problem anymore, and I don’t really understand that? Once I was farther into the story, I kind of forgot to wonder about that, but as you see, the question has now recurred. Maybe I missed something. Did anybody pick up something that would explain that?

I did not mind the [redacted] thing. I thought that was fine, and the way Murderbot handled it was fine. That was believable and added a complication to the way Murderbot felt about itself in a believable way.

I would have liked the novella more… I’m not sure … I think I would have liked to see more of Three, whom I liked a lot in the previous book; and more between Ratthi and Tarik, partly because the revelation about Tarik’s background really caught me. I was instantly very engaged by Tarik and wanted to see lots more about him. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that makes me create a new character of my own: a guy sort of like Tarik, with that kind of background, only much more centered in the story. Plus I like Ratthi and I would always like to see more of him.

I LOVED the solution Murderbot came up with. That was absolutely perfect and I did not see it coming at all, and then I loved how that element played out in the story. And everything after that was fast and fun, so that was my favorite part of the novella — everything from the time Murderbot had that inspired idea to the end.

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3 thoughts on “Update: Laptop woes, but also: Murderbot, yay!”

  1. I also liked it more from about halfway through. But I have found that many Murderbot books improve for me on reread. I like them the first time through, but I like them a lot on reread. Partly I think I read too fast the first time to find out what happen, but also and related, I am anxious the first time through and I can relax after that.

    Agree I would like to see more of Three and of Tarik.

  2. I just have to say that it is so cool to hear your thoughts on murderbot because the murderbot series is tied with your Tuyo series in my mind for current favorite series. So to hear one favorite authors thoughts on another favorite authors work is just kind of like worlds colliding. I agree with you that the first bit was a bit less engaging and I didn’t really get into it until it picked up a bit later. I didn’t notice the problem you pointed out about the worst-contaminated colonists but now I can’t unsee that giant plot hole either ? I think I overall this was not among my favorites for the series, but I can see that it is a natural extension of murderbot coming to terms with its own personhood and understanding that it can feel traumatized / unpacking previous trauma.

  3. Whoops, sorry, Sophia! Maybe there’s an explanation so the plot hole isn’t so big, but I just missed it?

    Murderbot is definitely one of MY favorites. I’d have a hard time deciding whether Murderbot or the Raksura series is actually my favorite. … …. Nope, I really do not know. So if you haven’t read the Raksura series, very definitely recommended!

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