eBook, 156 pages

English language

Published May 2, 2017 by Tordotcom.

ISBN:
978-0-7653-9752-2
Copied ISBN!
ASIN:
B01MYZ8X5C
ISFDB ID:
2161845
Goodreads:
32758901

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4 stars (20 reviews)

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

1 edition

Go Murderbot

4 stars

From the plot alone, this novella would be a bit of perhaps cliche science fiction. What makes it both unique and compelling is that the story being told from the perspective of the "Murderbot" (hence The Murderbot Diaries), a cyborg generally treated by society as a piece of equipment.

Martha Wells's writing does a good job of showing Murderbot's personality, its particular anxieties, its relationships towards humans, and general attitudes towards life. Even if the plot is cliche, Murderbot as a character is the opposite.

Review of 'All Systems Red' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I think the big appeal of this Hugo award winning novella was the care spent building the character of the viewpoint character. The author succeeded in giving Murderbot a convincingly non-human personality and interior life. I think of this as something distinct from worldbuilding, because that would be more a matter of fleshing out the natural and social structures the characters are placed in, which is there but I think as occupying definitely a second place in the concerns of the story. At the same time, there is a well managed increase in the level of suspense until the main action scene is complete, followed by a denouement where Murderbot does something both unexpected and in character which motivates the other stories in the series.

There is violent action in the story, but the graphic nature is blunted by the viewpoint of a SecBot who is accustomed to being repaired …

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