Even more fluff, lots of recaps, no new conclusion, some unwarranted angst immediately alleviated with more fluff, an ambivalent ending, and too much focus on a non-workable economy. Not a fan, but if you loved the first one and just want more, then this is what you want.
This book is part of the 2022 Backlog Incident.
Beware: full spoilers! Also probably incomplete and possibly incomprehensible.
Dex and Mosscap return to civilisation. Money is explained (weird non-bartering, where everybody can see what everybody has, and you pay in abstract favours, and having too many or too few is bad, but like socially. In peak Chambers logic, people don’t abuse it because they would feel bad).
Then something in Mosscap breaks. Robots have a taboo around fixing, since that could bestow immortality. Nudging things back into place is fine, replacing broken components is not. Dex suggests a printed replacement. So Mosscap gets to agonise about being the first robot with an organic component (bioplastics). Lots of “are you your body” blah. As it’s Chambers, there is a sensible option: just melt down the existing broken part and reuse that.
(Dex also hooks up with the hot fab shack manufacturer guy. That part of the narration is rather awkward.)
They proceed to a village where the people are even more luddite and don’t like robots. But of course there is a friendly sensible guy who talks to them. Then they visit Dex’s very big, very friendly, very overwhelmingly warm family.
Dex figures out (again?) that they don’t enjoy tea service anymore. Angst. Mosscap notices that while it asks everybody what they want/need, it doesn’t know its own answer. Angst. They decide not to go to the city and instead hang out at the beach. The End.