Activation Degradation (Harper Voyager, September 2021)
Marina J. Lostetter is the author of the acclaimed Noumenon space opera series, and the fantasy novel The Helm of Midnight, released just this past April. She doesn’t appear interested in just soaking up the glory of those accomplishments, however — her next novel (and her second this year) arrived in September. Activation Degradation features a spunky robot hero in a fast-paced tale of alien invasion in high orbit over Jupiter, one with plenty of twists and turns along the way.
The Suspected Bibliophile calls it “Murderbot mixed with first contact with a heavy dash of body horror… from there it’s its very own being, filled with the horrors of space, the horrors of humanity, and the rising and falling implications of the reverberations of the past continuing to slam dunk on the present.” That definitely sounds like something I need.
Here’s a clip from the starred review at Publishers Weekly.
Lostetter (the Noumenon series) sweeps readers up into a thrilling sci-fi adventure that raises challenging questions about artificial intelligence, sentient responsibility, and freedom. In a far future in which Earth society hangs on by a thread, Autonomous Maintenance System Unit Four is programmed to defend the valuable helium-3 mine orbiting Jupiter under the command of its Earth-based handler. An alien ship attacks and Unit Four risks everything to defend its workplace and home, but when it’s captured by the enemy and discovers they look just like it does — bipedal “soft” robots — Unit Four questions everything it thought it knew… a riveting story that weaves mystery and philosophical questions together with brisk action… The twisty plot and masterful storytelling set this apart.
Activation Degradation was published by Harper Voyager on September 28, 2021. It is 370 pages, priced at $16.99 in trade paperback, $11.99 digital, and $39.99 for the audio CD. The cover is by Adam M. Milicevic.
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