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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (Pushkin Vertigo)
Shika MacKenzie, Soji Shimada, Ross MacKenzie
Progress: 102/316 pages
The Bishop's Pawn (A Marc Edwards Mystery Book 7)
Don Gutteridge
Progress: 47/239 pages
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
Dylan Marron, Jeffrey Cranor, Cecil Baldwin, Retta Andresen, Joseph Fink, Harper Audio, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer
Progress: 211/722 minutes
Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects (Influential Video Game Designers)
Jennifer deWinter, Carly A. Kocurek, Anastasia Salter
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't
Robert I. Sutton
Progress: 140/210 pages
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Falling for Q46F by Jason Werbeloff

Falling for Q46F - Jason Werbeloff

This got on my radar after a couple people I follow on Booklikes reviewed it. It being free gave me the additional push I needed to download it.

"Falling for Q46F" begins with this sentence: “As I do every night, I feed the bunker wall, sing to the dining table in F major, and put the fridge to sleep.”

It sounds poetic, but then the main character, Q46F, mentions that the wall is made of human heads, that the table will eat itself if it isn't sung to, and that the fridge is powered by human lungs. The zombie apocalypse has come, and the only building materials that zombies are guaranteed to not try to chew through are their own bodies (a quibble: wouldn't that mean that the dining table would be just fine?).

Q46F is a lonely android that has been on its own since its creator died over 27 years ago. All it can do is follow its dead master's instructions: maintain the bunker and monitor the radio for signals from survivors. Every day is the same, until one day Q46F receives a message.

The world, with everything built out of zombie parts, was different from anything I've seen in other zombie apocalypse stories, although I had questions. Would there have been anything left to feed to the wall after so many years, especially since Q46F didn't go exploring? Considering that so much of Q46F's programming demanded that it stay in the bunker, why didn't it ask more questions when it first received the message?

I didn't really like the way Werbeloff structured Q46F's thoughts. There was a lot of “I am not... But I [am this thing that I supposedly am not]” and similar sentences. For example:

“I am not a jumpy android. I was not programmed to be jumpy. But I imagine that right now I am jumpy.” (8)

“I am not an insecure android. I cannot feel discomfort. But I imagine that I am uncomfortable.” (9)

“I am not programmed to use expletives. But I think one now.” (9)

There are a few more, but you get the idea.

The story as a whole was interesting and kept my attention, but I wasn't a fan of the ending. Werbeloff has a few other freebies and cheap works, but I don't know that I'll be checking them out.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)