eBook, 144 pages

English language

Published May 1, 2017 by Tor.com.


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4 stars (3 reviews)

All Systems Red is a 2017 science fiction novella by American author Martha Wells. The first in a series called The Murderbot Diaries, it was published by Tor.com. The series is about an artificial construct designed as a Security Unit, which manages to override its governor unit, thus enabling it to develop independence. It calls itself Murderbot, and likes to watch unrealistic soap operas. As it spends more time with some caring humans, it starts developing feelings that it does not care for.

4 editions

Good start

5 stars

Fast paced plot. The AI is exactly not doing what it was built for (it's a security bot that calls itself a murderbot), it loves watching entertainment series on HBO or the like. The story is told from the point of view of the bot and the bot is really funny. It's not only the interactions with humans, it's often in between different thoughts and all, she puts in a new perspective that is funny.

Of course I want to point out that we all seem to love these bots that turn human, like with Ann Leckie etc. But we don't know if these books sound like real AIs, although we think they do and we love it. I love the difference between the bot and a human, or better, what the bot is thinking about an easy interaction with a human that we as humans never consciously think about. …

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.