Stuff and Nonsense: All Systems Red


2.05.2018

All Systems Red


When All Systems Red begins, a SecUnit (a weaponized Imitative Human Bot Unit specializing in security, not combat), is assigned to a survey team exploring a planet sparsely populated by seemingly harmless fauna. The SecUnit, who refers to itself as Murderbot, thinks the team seems okay as far as humans go, but the assignment doesn’t ask much of it, so it spends a lot of time watching serials (soap operas) and ignoring commands from its governor module.

Prior to this assignment, you see, Murderbot had a really bad work experience, so it secretly hacked its governor module to become autonomous. That's probably a good thing, in the long run, as the greedy company that owns Murderbot is a great one for cutting corners, buying the cheapest components, and not concerning itself much with the safety of the people on the ground.

Unsurprisingly, everything goes to shit and Murderbot has to save the day while attempting to keep its autonomy secret.

At 149 pages, this novella is an absolute romp. I could not put All Systems Red down and chortled my way though most of it. There's a lot of action, some mystery, and a great deal of dry, dark humor packed between its covers. While the story movies quickly, the characters are well-rounded and interesting and the principle plot-line wraps up neatly and satisfyingly.

That said, All Systems Red is the first novella in The Murderbot Diaries, so if you need more MurderBot in your life, rejoice. And I am. Must. Have. More. Murderbot. And it's not just me loving these books. I shared All Systems Red with The Husband and he enjoyed it very much. He doesn't have a lot of time to read and reads more slowly than I, so short snarky books with immediately absorbing stories are a definite win.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells. Tor, 2017.

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