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All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red

by Martha Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Murderbot Diaries (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7191176,890 (4.14)267
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. 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.… (more)
  1. 60
    Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (chlorine)
    chlorine: Main protagonists are at least somewhat AI, and both books have a neutral take on gender.
  2. 51
    A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (2wonderY)
    2wonderY: The ethical dilemmas and questions on the meaning of humanity inform both stories.
  3. 10
    Artifice by Alex Woolfson (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Construct, check. Evil Corporation, check. Action, check. Squishy emotional center, check. Trust me, you'll love it.
  4. 00
    For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor (Cora-R)

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» See also 267 mentions

English (116)  French (1)  All languages (117)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Didn't feel I knew the main character enough that the ending could resonate with me. ( )
  Kalal | May 27, 2020 |
This is so fun! I'm really glad I read it, and sorry it took so long to get to it. Really enjoyable novella. I love that this is almost a coming-of-age story for Murderbot. I can't go into really any of the story's details without spoilers, but it's a short enough novella that you can read it all for yourself very quickly. (I read it over the course of a single morning. And now I need to go buy the rest of the series.) ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
picked up “All Systems Red” because it was one of the Best Science Fiction Nominees in the GoodReads Choice Awards 2017 It’s my first Martha Wells book, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.

I’ve been reading Science Fiction for more than forty years and it’s rare for me to come across a novella as fresh, engaging and original as “All Systems Red”.

Told from the point of view of a part machine, part organic, Security Bot that secretly refers to itself as “Murderbot”, “All Systems Red” is a turn-the-page-I have-to-know-what-happens-next read. Murderbot has gone rogue, is proud of himself for not having murdered everybody yet and mostly wants to be left alone to watch entertainment videos. Strange and violent happens that threaten “his” humans mean that he has to put the entertainments aside and take risks to keep his humans alive.

Murderbot’s interior monologue is simple, alien and compelling. He is not human but he is not just a machine either. He’s a person that you end up rooting for.

The mystery at the heart of the book is relatively simple and is soon resolved but a whole universe of expectations and rules and behaviours are revealed along the way.

The ending is pretty much perfect. It allows “All Systems Red” to work as a standalone novel while leaving me hoping that there will be a sequel soon.. ( )
1 vote MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
I tore through this adorable novella, the first of a series. The protagonist, part robot with organic parts, calls itself Murderbot, because of an incident in its past for which it wasn’t guilty, but the appellation stuck. In any event, Murderbot is a security robot, or SecBot, designed to protect its clients - who are humans - from any threats. But Murderbot as gone “rogue,” having hacked its controlling module so that it now has free will. Murderbot would like nothing better than to spend its time watching all the space adventure series it has downloaded, but still can’t resist the pull to rescue humans from all the scrapes they continually get themselves into.

In this installment we meet his clients who continue to feature throughout the series. Murderbot particularly like and respects Dr. Mensah, the head of the survey group he is protecting. When it is clear a rival group is trying to kill his clients, Murderbot steps up to the plate.

But if it sounds like all violence, action, and adventure, it is more than that. Murderbot’s dry sense of humor, sardonic wit, and constant existential angst are supremely entertaining. ( )
1 vote nbmars | May 16, 2020 |
“And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.”

I’m not a Science Fiction fan. I’m not especially fond of novellas. This one, though…

I can’t even really explain what appealed to me about this novella: Murderbot neither really feels like a robot nor like a person but still strangely… plausible.
Murderbot’s actions feel logical, yet simple. It does what it has to do. It’s ambiguity as an artificial lifeform makes it feel both familiar in, e. g. its shyness and some other emotions - not to speak of its entertainment addiction.
Plus: An artificial lifeform that (sometimes) acts more humanely than its human counterparts? Fascinating!

Murderbot is literally strange enough to go through a contrasting melange of emotions as well. This contrast, the SecUnits conflicting feelings and survival strategies is probably what made this story so wondrously attractive for me.

All in all, the novella is based on an interesting premise with a good mixture of characters and a lot of suspense. Spice that up with Murderbot itself and its diverse clients and you get a modern, fresh approach to science fiction.

Highly recommended.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram ( )
  philantrop | May 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
But this book is sneaky. As much as you want to think this is just some lightweight little confection made of robot fights and space murder — and as much as All Systems Red wants to present itself as nothing but robot fights and space murder — Martha Wells did something really clever. She hid a delicate, nuanced and deeply, grumpily human story inside these pulp trappings, by making her murderous robot story primarily character-driven. And the character doing the driving?


» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, Marthaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Böhmert, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foltzer, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Free, Kevin R.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, LeeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, JaimeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montier, MathildeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.
And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.
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Average: (4.14)
1 4
2 14
2.5 5
3 76
3.5 41
4 284
4.5 57
5 212


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