Monday, January 18, 2021

All Systems Red by Martha Wells


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 finish watching all the TV shows it's downloaded.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Light, entertaining, fun, exciting. All that with a sense of humor and a mystery to solve in order to keep everyone alive. I like that Murderbot uses its free will to spend all day watching TV, if possible. I also liked the reason that it was capable of the killing that makes it name itself "Murderbot."

In a way, it felt a bit like it could have been from the Firefly universe. Or maybe Futurama? Every time Murderbot said "kill all humans" - and it was said a fair number of times - Bender flashed before my eyes.

I've seen a few complaints that this is too short and episodic feeling. You mean just like the entertainment that Murderbot loves to watch so much? Maybe that's why I liked it. Sometimes all you want is a good episodic adventure with a likable hero struggling against the odds. And that's what we've got here.

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