New Books (April-May)

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Featuring: A. Deborah Baker, William Boyle, Trudi Canavan, Jim Carrey, P. Djèlí Clark, Susan Eisenhower, T.C. Farren, Thomas Frank, Sarah Gailey, Daniel Hornsby, S. L. Huang, Phil Klay, Derek Künsken, Jenn Lyons, John P. Murphy, Robert Pobi, Alastair Reynolds, Jane Routley, John Sandford, Sara Sligar, Wright Thompson, Rufi Thorpe, Sarah Tolmie, Dana Vachon, Vanessa Veselka, Erin K. Wagner, Jess Walter, C L Werner, Rachel Winters, Julian E. Zelizer

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Quick Review: AN UNNATURAL LIFE by Erin K. Wagner (Tor.com)

WagnerEK-AnUnnaturalLifeAn interplanetary tale of identity and responsibility.

The cybernetic organism known as 812-3 is in prison, convicted of murdering a human worker but he claims that he did not do it. With the evidence stacked against him, his lawyer, Aiya Ritsehrer, must determine grounds for an appeal and uncover the true facts of the case.

But with artificial life-forms having only recently been awarded legal rights on Earth, the military complex on Europa is resistant to the implementation of these same rights on the Jovian moon.

Aiya must battle against her own prejudices and that of her new paymasters, to secure a fair trial for her charge, while navigating her own interpersonal drama, before it’s too late.

Who enjoys the full protections of the law? Can an AI have a jury of its peers, if no AIs are represented? Can humans make objective choices if they need to decide the fate of an artificial being? All these and more are the questions asked by Wagner’s interesting novella. Continue reading