Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells ; 637 pp

     All Systems Red, 149 pp
     Artificial Condition, 158 pp
     Rogue Protocol, 158 pp
     Exit Strategy, 172 pp

In a corporate-dominated future, Security Unit bots must accompany all approved planetary missions to guarantee the safety of the humans on the mission. One SecUnit that calls itself Murderbot has hacked its own governor module, yet continues on with its job because it has plenty of time to surreptitiously watch media. (Its favorite show is Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon.)
        "Confession time: I don't actually know where we are....In my defense, we'd been here twenty-two planetary days and I hadn't had to do anything but stand around watching humans make scans or take samples of dirt, rocks, water, and leaves. The sense of urgency just wasn't there. Also, you may have noticed, I don't care."
Then an emergency happens and Murderbot actually has to decide whether to do its job....

Murderbot is snarky and anxiety-ridden and unsure what to do with itself when humans try to talk to it. It's also great fun to read about. These novellas feature action and intrigue as well as introspection and growth. The fourth title ends the story arc begun in the first title, but there's a novel coming out in 2020 to look forward to. (Woo!) I can't wait.

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