Robot stories aren’t usually my thing, but All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells changed my mind.
Murderbot was easy to identify with and to root for. It just wants to be left in peace to watch TV but is forced to figure out what it wants. The clients it is contracted to watch over end up in a pickle, and Murderbot decides to help.
Murderbot can ignore its programming and surprises itself by continuing to assist its humans.
The story stirs up all sorts of questions. What is life? If it can think and feel, does it have rights? Mostly, what will Murderbot do now?
I’m so curious, I ordered the second book. Yup, it was that good. There was suspense and action, and I got to spend some time on an alien planet. All pluses for me.
I would recommend this book, however, t’s a short one. It doesn’t take long to devour it. It’s also a pricey series.
“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.