Winner: 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Winner: 2018 Locus Award
One of the Verge's Best Books of 2017
A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller
A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.
"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.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A security android has quietly hacked its system to gain freedom, but instead of going rogue it really just wants to be left alone to watch soap operas. Meet the narrator of the fast and funny first book in Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries series. All Systems Red imagines the perilous, corporate future of space exploration while building on a super-catchy premise: what if A.I., like humans, went through an awkward adolescent stage where everyone else struck them as dumb and annoying? Wells’ book will delight anyone whose favorite Douglas Adams character is Marvin the Paranoid Android. Or anyone who remembers being a teenager.
SecUnit, aka Murderbot, is a semiorganic corporate profit center, genderless and constructed of cheap parts to perform contract bodyguard services for clients who mostly don t want them. SecUnit can choose its attitude because it has hacked its governor (a hat-tip to Susan R. Matthews), blocking the functions that would punish it for anything but robotic obedience. Disgusted by humans and secretly addicted to a video serial called Sanctuary Moon, SecUnit is simply enduring another assignment until something completely outside of its data parameters tries to kill its humans. Nebula finalist Wells (Edge of Worlds) gives depth to a rousing but basically familiar action plot by turning it into the vehicle by which SecUnit engages with its own rigorously denied humanity. The creepy panopticon of SecUnit s multiple interfaces allows a hybrid first-person/omniscient perspective that contextualizes its experience without ever giving center stage to the humans.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I expected more...
Don't expect any real character development. I felt as though it was rushed through and the writer then had to explain the missing information away. By using her character as a scapegoat, Murderbot has a nonchalant attitude and doesn't care, we're expected not to ask too many questions. Also known as the author was too lazy to write it out or give it much thought and expected the reader to "just deal with it." However, it's a nice spin on ideas and thoughts we already know to be tried and true.
Fun first person AI story, quick little page-turner
I’m always game for a sympathetic first-person AI story, and while Murderbot isn’t completely artificial it fits the mold as it navigates life as a secretly free individual who hides that freedom by continuing to perform as the slave it once was.
Murderbot is refreshingly free of higher purpose, squandering it’s freedom just like most of us do, watching trash tv and reading trashy fiction. Murderbot’s interactions with the humans it was rented to protect and its inevitable call to action are endearing and amusing; indeed, the author’s commitment to maintaining Murderbot’s genderlessness, cynicism, and well conceived insecurities was what kept me reading through to the satisfying conclusion in one sitting. Great fun!
Wish There Were More Good Novellas
This popped on my radar when I heard it won the Hugo, Nebula, and Lotus. I decided to give it a read and was not disappointed. The protagonist is wonderful to meet and a great character with fantastic internal dialogue. The internal dialogue and the way his perspective is told puts you into this strange individual’s shoes and I enjoyed the ride.