All Systems Red, by Martha Wells

From GoodReads: 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. 

This book has the honor of having one of the best opening paragraphs of any book I’ve read in quite some time.

I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.

Ha! I love it.

I don’t read a lot of sci-fi. Fantasy, yes, but science fiction is normally a bit meh for me. Martha Wells did a great job with this one, though. It’s humorous, and her Murderbot narrator is the ultimate introvert who just wants to watch its shows in peace. I laughed all the way through this. Yeah, there’s a story and a plot that’s all happening, but it’s all skewed through the eyes of this robot that wants to avoid interacting with humans at all costs, and that’s just the best. The book is fairly short, and Wells manages to sneak in a lot of themes, from various LGBTQ+ relationships and multi-partner marriages to the treatment of part-human constructs. All of that goes on in the background, making it the opposite of heavy-handed. It was perfect. I’ve already ordered the next five books in the series.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2021, Adult, Prose and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to All Systems Red, by Martha Wells

  1. Pingback: Murderbot Diaries #2-5 | The Zen Leaf

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