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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
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: 58/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes

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.)