All Systems Red

All Systems Red

The Murderbot Diaries

Book - 2017
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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.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 neighbouring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Publisher: New York :, Tor,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765397539
0765397536
Branch Call Number: FIC Wells
Characteristics: 152 pages ; 21 cm

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IndyPL_SteveB Nov 23, 2018

Intriguing SF story, winner of the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella and the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella. The point-of-view character is a security android (combination of machine and human) who internally names himself “Murderbot.” Previously someone altered his programming and he killed a large number of humans. When he was being reprogrammed in order to put him back to work as a SecUnit, he discovered he could secretly block the programming and become autonomous. He doesn’t really know what to do with a sense of self, so he goes along with his next assignment, a boring planetary survey team. When the survey team discovers that someone is trying to kill them, Murderbot has to reveal his independence in order to give them the chance to survive.

The plot in this first book in the series is pretty average but later books are actually more exciting. (In order: *Artificial Condition*, *Rogue Protocol*, and *Exit Strategy.*) The focus in book one is on the android’s growing internal conflicts with his previous programming and his desire for independence. Unfortunately, the only models he has for human behavior and heroism are the cheaply-made space adventure videos he has been watching in his down time.

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elsiecope
Oct 16, 2018

My latest sci-fi series obsession. Thrilling action and thousands of hours of space travel sitcoms? Check. Sarcastic, depressed robot protagonist who is irritated by caring for humans? Check. Murderous robots and humans? Check. I only wish the books were longer!

SCL_Justin Oct 06, 2018

A short science fiction novella like this usually feels like a movie to me. You would be able to put the entirety of this story up on the screen and not have to leave out any complexity for reasons of running time. But putting it in video form would make what makes this story uniquely charming much more awkward.

You see, the story of a scientific expedition gone pear-shaped is fairly common in the space operaish end of the world, but having the story of this expedition told by a security robot that's secretly hacked its chip that forces it to obey orders yet doesn't do a lot with that freedom of action besides watching videos is weirdly compelling. The bot (who calls themself Murderbot though the rest of the scientific team doesn't know that) behaves like most people who go to work in late stage capitalism, and is pretty blase about it. It feels like a slacker workplace book that might have been written by '90s era Douglas Coupland which is a neat way to read about an expedition gone wrong.

Putting Murderbot's voice onscreen would have to be done by making it more snarky and less antisocial if filmmakers were trying to avoid the dreaded voiceover effect, which would be a shame. Murderbot doesn't banter; it watches videos in its own head while repairing horrific damage from firefights.

I look forward to reading more of the Murderbot Diaries.

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WoodneathReads
Sep 21, 2018

Murderbot has discovered sentience, but it just wants to be left in peace to binge watch its favorite TV soaps. Unfortunately, the humans it's supposed to be protecting are in trouble...and Murderbot can't *quite* bring itself not to care.

I don't know what it says about me, but I absolutely adored Murderbot and all its snarky, antisocial tendencies. All Systems Red was fast paced and a total blast to read! I particularly enjoyed the ending and I can't wait to see what Murderbot gets up to in the next book. --Lizzie (See more of my picks by following WoodneathLizzie)

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WoodneathLizzie
Sep 13, 2018

Murderbot has discovered sentience, but it just wants to be left in peace to binge watch its favorite TV soaps. Unfortunately, the humans it's supposed to be protecting are in trouble...and Murderbot can't *quite* bring itself not to care.

I don't know what it says about me, but I absolutely adored Murderbot and all its snarky, antisocial tendencies. All Systems Red was fast paced and a total blast to read! I particularly enjoyed the ending and I can't wait to see what Murderbot gets up to in the next book.

g
GladstoneReader
Aug 24, 2018

Wells is on to a good series of books (novellas really) with this first Murderbot book. The TOR series of novellas are quite entertaining and each can be read in an evening. Murderbot will appeal to introverts in that basically it also like to be left alone. Looking forward to further adventures.

RobertELPL May 08, 2018

Science fiction novella that focuses on a security robot (Murderbot) that has hacked its own programming to achieve independence. Murderbot has a very sarcastic outlook on humans and would much rather be left alone than anything else. The short pager count makes for a fast delivery, but you get caught up pretty quickly. Not a lot of character development, but the focus is on the robot more than any of the humans. Slightly thought-provoking, but its page-length kind of holds it back from getting too deep.

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LucasHill
Apr 12, 2018

Sometimes, the best thing about a book is that it is short. Altogether, this novella took me about three hours. I disliked most of that experience.

SecBot (which has privately named itself MurderBot), is a cyborg that is contracted to provide security to a team of humans (including one "augmented" human) surveying a planet for an evil corporation whose only characteristic seems to be criminally tight purse strings. The team is being chased by another shadowy group. MurderBot has a past it's ashamed of. It spends its alone time feeding its media addiction. It speaks and thinks wryly and sarcastically, and in a strangely anachronistic manner. It does its best to hide from the others on the team, which the author reminds us on nearly every page.

MurderBot is irritating. The human members of the expedition are indistinguishable from each other, save for the leader, who most willingly sees the humanity in MurderBot.

This story may be an allegory for slavery. It definitely is cobbled together with scraps from other sci-fi stories. By the end, I just didn't care for any of it..

r
rixonkj
Apr 07, 2018

If you like crying about robots (my preferred genre tbh), you must read this book immediately.

JohnK_KCMO Dec 29, 2017

Murderbot is one of the most delightful characters in current science fiction: a killing machine who tries to be a good person, who suffers from crippling social anxiety, a sarcastic misanthrope who really just wants to be left alone to watch TV. Wells uses this unique character to explore what it means to be human, an individual, the interplay of free will and compulsion. All in a 150 page action story. This is a fast, exciting, entertaining, and unexpectedly meaningful read.

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