All Systems Red

, #1

eBook, 156 pages

English language

Published May 2, 2017 by Tordotcom.

ISBN:
978-0-7653-9752-2
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ASIN:
B01MYZ8X5C
ISFDB ID:
2161845

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4 stars (63 reviews)

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

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.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

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.

2 editions

reviewed All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

I like where sf is going

4 stars

Content warning Plot spoilers

reviewed All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

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. …

reviewed All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

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.

reviewed All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

A great intro to Murderbot.

4 stars

A fun story about an AI construct who calls itself 'Murderbot' that has secretly hacked its governor module, so it doesn't follow any orders (in other words, it's a free agent). It's also a 'SecUnit' (security unit) leased out by the Company to provide security to a small group of scientists doing a field survey on an unfamiliar planet. While not performing its duties, Murderbot likes nothing better than to immerse itself in entertainment streams, mainly the future equivalent of current day 'soap operas' and to avoid interacting with its human clients as much as possible.

But things change dramatically when some members of the group get attacked by native wildlife. That wasn't in the planetary briefing. A closer look reveals missing information due to probable hacking. Then, a rival planetary survey on another part of the planet goes dark and things start to escalate rather violently.

In all this, …

reviewed All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

Review of 'All Systems Red' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

*I received a review copy as part of the 2021 Hugo voters packet. 

ALL SYSTEMS RED is about a loner in a crowd, a Murderbot who just wants to be left alone to watch its serials. Unfortunately, someone is trying to kill the scientists it's there to protect.

I love this book, I love Murderbot. The setting is great, the background is told as its relevant to the story and mostly consists of slowly reinforcing how much the company will do whatever it has to to protect its money, and that simple calculus drives a lot (but not quite all) of the difficulties that the group faces. The scientists come through as individuals even though Murderbot is doing its best to ignore them. The narration is a delightful mix of Murderbot saying what literally happened and adding its own asides with the info that informed its decisions or give context …

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