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The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon

Updated: Apr 24

2022-04-23 03:00

Do you recognize the title? If yes, then you are probably familiar with The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. In chronological order, the diaries start with a short story in Wired magazine, continue through six novellas to the final novel. Final for now, at any rate. Using MobiPocket Creator, I assembled all eight stories in a single file, for my convenience and reading pleasure. Here are screenshots from Mobipocket Reader:

Let me add one more screenshot, the very next one after the Table of Contents:

Sanctuary Moon is Murderbot's favorite video. When it* is stressed, or bored, it plays one episode or another**. The videos do more than entertain and relieve stress: they teach Murderbot how to be more human. Or at least, to fake it.

I'm human (I think.) I don't have a favorite video, or series. If I were required to name books that served the function, I'd name the works of Lois McMaster Bujold and Jennifer Crusie (Smith). Go back some years and I'd have named Anne McCaffrey and Robert Anson Heinlein, instead. Not now, though.

I think my Sanctuary Moon is Microsoft Solitaire Collection on a Windows PC. It doesn't teach me how to be more, or a better human. It does take my mind off everything else. It reduces stress, with the exception of carpal tunnel stress. What it does teach me is that there is no end. Levels continue. You never reach a point where the computer explodes in celebration and issues a certificate of completion. Just like life.

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* Yes, IT. Murderbot is a construct of organic and robotic parts and has no gender. If it had a gender, it would be a sexbot. It has no sexual organs and absolutely no interest in sex or the attendant emotions or actions. Less.

** Or another video altogether. Murderbot has downloaded over 30,000 hours of entertainment media.

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