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Murder in the Generative Kitchen

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  20 reviews
With the Vacation Jury Duty system, jurors can lounge on a comfortable beach while watching the trial via virtual reality. Julio is loving the beach, as well as the views of a curvy fellow juror with a rainbow-lacquered skin modification who seems to be the exact opposite of his recent ex-girlfriend back in Chicago. Because of jury sequestration rules, they can’t talk to e ...more
Published September 27th 2016
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I think this is an amazing idea. It is 2060. Sequestered juries are sent on an all expense paid trip to a resort. People try to get on juries now instead of getting out of it. This jury out of Chicago is in Acapulco. They watch the trial on headsets. The headsets can show the trial superimposed on the real world so you can walk around the resort while you watch.
The Rules:

You have to watch 8 hours of the trial a day but you can do it on your own schedule.
You have to finish your viewing for the
chad chrysanthemum
Murder in the Generative Kitchen is an absolutely brilliant sci-fi novella. My grandfather gave me a copy a number of years ago now, and it's a book that I still think about from time to time. Sci-fi is all about asking "what if?", and it does well when it can ask the right questions, and then answer them in intriguing and thought-provoking ways. This novella asks brilliant questions about the future of our justice and carceral system, and about the morality of AI. A great example of sci-fi done ...more
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook, mystery, sci-fi
Murder in the Generative Kitchen by Meg Pontecorvo is an interesting story that works on multiple levels.

The Vacation Jury Duty system sends jurors to an exotic location with the catch that they have to daily watch court proceedings through a virtual reality device in preparation for rendering a verdict. Failure to do so, or to break any of the rules, could leave you on the hook for paying for the vacation yourself.

The trial involves a death, ostensibly by an automated kitchen that shouldn’t be
Mar 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
While the concept is interesting, I was more than a little disappointed with the execution of the book.

Set in the not-too-distant future, we are introduced to the Vacation Jury Duty system where sequestered juries enjoy an all-expenses paid vacation while watching the trial via virtual reality. This particular jury is enjoying their civic duty in Acapulco, Mexico, far from their hometown of Chicago. The case? A woman is accused of murdering her husband by using her high-tech generative kitchen.

Wendy Sparrow
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Now and again, you read a story that strings you along. You periodically sniff with self-importance and make clever little mental judgments about how it’ll end and anticipate the characters’ actions. Then, you reach the last page and in a groaning moment of “oh snap” you recognize that the author has led you the whole way; your deductions were exactly what they intended; and, in short, you were stupidly easy to misdirect into focusing on the wrong things entirely.

This degrading discovery is fol
George Hahn
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Science fiction is a genre about ideas, but every good story must be about people, too. “Murder in the Generative Kitchen” does well in both areas and should have fans with both people who like science fiction and people who don’t like science fiction because it’s all that “Star Wars” action stuff.
The basic idea here is one that probably isn’t far away: automated kitchens that can prepare meals automatically or lead a cook through the steps to make the process easy. The generative kitchens learn
Rowena Lundquist
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it
My biggest criticism regarding this delightful futuristic tale is that it's not long enough. Pontecorvo's world is fully realized and completely believable. Her characters are 3-dimensional and the writing is witty. I do think the story would have been wonderful as a full-length novel, and hope that Meg Pontecorvo writes more tales about her all-too-human, robot-peppered world. ...more
K. Lincoln
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, actually

This novelette takes two pretty interesting concepts and expounds on them through the POV of a kind of jerk male juror.

What if we sent jurors to resort destinations all expense paid but required them to watch testimony during that time?

What if we had "smart" kitchens that not only knew our basic nutritional requirements and could adjust according to our state of health but could also read our mood or "affect" and put in mood-altering serotonins?

As a thought experiment, this s
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
The premise and beginning of the story seemed to have a lot of promise and I was excited to read this book - but it fell somewhat flat in the end. Something with 'murder' in the title should give some resolution to the murder; this meandered off to be about the juror's learning curve. That's an OK story line, but what about the other plot lines and themes? They (and the readers) were left hanging. ...more
Adam Mccaulley
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
** Full disclosure: I received this book in exchange for an honest review**

In the future a woman is on trial, accused of using a high-tech generative kitchen to feed her husband a poisonous meal, but the more evidence mounts, the more Julio, one of the jurors taking part in the Vacation Jury Duty system, starts to suspect the kitchen may have made the decision on its own

At first this story felt like an odd mix, bouncing back and forth between a fairly serious, and fascinating murder trial, and
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
After fighting with his girlfriend, Julio Gonzalez accepts a position on a "vacation jury" to give them both a break. In a not-too-distant future, sequestered jurors get to watch trial testimony remotely from the comfort of their own Caribbean resort (or other tropical locale). The catch? They can't say a word to the other jurors or they'll be forced to repay the entire trip - in some cases, months' worth of their salaries.

Julio, being a normal human being, starts to go a bit wacky for lack of s
Ann Girdharry
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this story and finding out more about Julio and the problems he has in his life. I thought the author did a good job of telling us the story of the trial of Mrs Ellis and at the same time, allowing us a glimpse into the pre-occupations of one of the jurors, Julio. The world-building was convincing and entertaining. The story-line of the trial was interesting, though I'd have liked a bit more depth to the final section where the jury are debating their verdict - surely not all t ...more
Book Review originally published here:

Murder in the Generative Kitchen has got to be one of the most original scifi books I’ve ever read. First, imagine it’s not a perosn who kills another person – it’s a kitchen. Then, jury duty basically being a beach holiday where you watch the trial via virtual reality. Suddenly jury duty sounds a lot more interesting, doesn’t it? That’s what happens to Julio, who after a bad break-up with his girlfriend, finds himsel
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Murder in the Generative Kitchen" is a surprisingly philosophical futuristic twist on "12 angry jurors." What is murder? Would an AI agree with your definition? And do you trust a jury that just wants to go home to figure out if it does?

This novella is a tension-filled peek into the sausage that is the jury system smashed into a mystery and romance subplot. I enjoyed rooting for Julio (the main character), as he navigated the murder mystery, the judicial system, and his fellow (attractively scu
Sue Hieber
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
It was interesting,but really seemed to have two separate themes going at once..a futuristic trial and a juror attempting to "get with"another juror. I felt this was a totally unnecessary plot line, as the ending could have been exactly the same without it. I liked all the court parts, the jury deliberation, etc.,and I liked the ending. ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this as a Library Thing Early Reviewer ebook. I liked the idea of the book but I did think that it was too short. I like a good novella but this could have been made into a nice novel (300ish pages instead of the 120 it was) Although I am not a sci-fi fan I did like the storyline as I am a sucker for murder mysteries and I was intrigued that in this book it was focused on the trial.
Barbara Huskey
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Won an ARC from Library Thing Early Reader program. The premise of this novella was fantastic. I really enjoyed the trial and the vacation jury concept. The romance stuff was unnecessary and I would have preferred more details and time spent on the trial aspect instead. I think it had a lot of potential and mostly got it right, but the end seemed rather abrupt and unsatisfying.
Victoria Lee
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This lovely, mystery novella is set in the future where machines can learn about their users and adapt to their needs and desires. I liked the author's exploration of the legal system, the rules the kitchen was programmed with and how the kitchen may have interpreted those rules. ...more
Sarah Benson
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved the premise of this book and thought the writing was generally high-quality, but the plot fizzled a little bit and then ended too abruptly. Would read more by this author though.
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A writer and artist dedicated to multiple genres, Meg Pontecorvo earned an MFA in Poetry Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and is a 2010 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Meg has published a novelette, “Grounded,” in Asimov’s, and her artwork in collage and pen has been featured in experimental video performances in the Bay Area. A native of Philadelphia, she grew up in the M ...more

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