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Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries by…

Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries (edition 2018)

by Martha Wells (Author)

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3152952,974 (4.26)33
Title:Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries
Authors:Martha Wells (Author)
Info:Tor.com (2018), 176 pages
Collections:Fiction, SciFi, Series, Audible, Hard Cover, Your library, Read
Tags:Science Fiction, Space Opera, artificial intelligence, Novella, Robots, Space

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Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells



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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
This is the 4th installment in The MurderBot Diaries. A word of caution, this is a series that you really need to read from beginning to end. The author has had the character evolve emotionally over the previous books. Though MurderBot is still trying to come to terms with it's feelings toward humans and it is finally starting to accept that some humans are OK and can even be it's friends.

The story takes up where the third book leaves off. This time MurderBot is going to help Dr. Mensha who has been kidnapped by GrayCris. He just can't seem to not help humans. Of course, what is planned is actually not what happens and know GrayCris has lured MurderBot to it's headquarters.

As with the other books, there is a lot of further character development as well as lots of action. The reader also continues to get lots MurderBot's snarky commentary. It's personality is one of the big reasons I enjoyed this series so much. I am totally looking forward to the full length novel when it comes out. I need more MurderBot! ( )
  purpledog | May 15, 2019 |
This is the third short work in what is (so far) a four book series labeled The Murderbot diaries. It is a novella which takes about two hours to read. The story focuses on a hybrid organic/mechanical construct (a robot with some human parts) who refers to himself as Murderbot. Murderbot is a security agent who is assigned various tasks and projects, but has somehow managed to “hack” his governor. In other words, instead of being strictly limited by downloaded protocols, he is instead a “rogue” or free agent. Nevertheless, he repeatedly finds himself in situations where he is called upon to fulfill many of his old duties, primarily, protecting humans from harm.

This is pure science fiction and quite good, though again, extremely short. Murderbot travels throughout the galaxy, in search of some closure from an event in his past in which he was apparently “hijacked” by malware, leading to the mass murder of the humans he was hired to protect. He is constantly at war with his inner self and the human “emotions” that he is increasingly feeling.

Rogue Protocol is the third of four novellas in the Murderbot series and is little more than a thin pamphlet, though in hardback when I purchased it along with its successor, the concluding book. I suspect the author will continue to crank out story after story in the Murderbot series. My advice would be to wait until they are grouped together into a single volume. I’m sure this will be more economical than springing for each microthin book, especially in hard cover at $10/book. In such a format, I could highly recommend it, as the writing and stories are actually very good. ( )
  santhony | May 14, 2019 |

Lots of people love this series about an anthropomorphic robot that is programmed to kill. Personally, I hate stories about cute robots, even cute killer robots, and this didn't change my views. ( )
  nwhyte | Apr 28, 2019 |
The adventures of our beloved SecUnit have come to an end - at least as far as this cycle of novellas is concerned, since a full-length novel has been announced, to the utter delight of all us MurderBot fans. So Exit Strategy does not mark the final farewell to a character that has grown in complexity and facets as the overall story progressed, but on the other hand it marks the closing of the circle, so to speak, because MurderBot moves once more into the sphere of the former clients it protected in All Systems Red, and completes the mission it had tasked itself with once it decided to turn rogue.

In the previous installment, MB had managed to collect some incriminating evidence that might enable it to uncover the deadly, illegal activities of GrayCris, and its intention was to take it to Dr. Mensah, the scientist who had seen beyond the unit's detached façade and wanted to give it freedom and equal status. Learning however that GrayCris is fighting back on two levels - openly in court, attacking Mensah, and more stealthily by later abducting Mensa herself - it decides to launch into a rescue operation and joins with Mensah's colleagues, offering its help and specialized skills.

The result is a breathtakingly humorous tale of a battle with the corporation's operatives that is fought on many levels: there are a few physical engagements, granted, but most of MurderBot's strategy is geared toward system hacking and misdirection, with a wide variety of tactics that made me often think of some of the most famous cinematic heists, like Ocean's Eleven and its brethren, with the difference that instead of a group of skilled individuals acting in concert, here we have a lone SecUnit that has raised multitasking to an exquisite art form.

And here comes the first admission that MurderBot's experiences have wrought important changes to its mental structure, that working and thinking "outside the box" has expanded its limits, or what it perceived as such:

[…] all this coding and working with different systems on the fly had opened up some new neural pathways and processing space.

Not only that, but its observation of humans - both in real life and through the media that MB consumes with voracity - taught it to discern between behavioral patterns, to the point that it's able to spot the corporation operatives as they try to pass for normal tourists in a crowded station, while their affected nonchalance is evident to the SecUnit, thanks to its studies on the body language it tried to mimic in its attempt to pass as an enhanced human.

With such awareness comes however the far more uncomfortable one about the SecUnit's potential where feelings are concerned, something that it kept trying to deny with ever-dwindling conviction, something it has to finally deal with here and acknowledge it's part of its own makeup, a side of its personality that has nothing to do with the programming it received but comes straight from what - and who - MurderBot is:

“It was too late for you to help them, then.” […] “But you wanted to.”
“I’m programmed to help humans.”
Eyebrow lift again. ”You’re not programmed to watch media.”
She had a point.

It's the first, uneasy admission that it might be more than the mere assembly of organic and mechanic parts that constitute a SecUnit, and that the bothersome feelings that were the cause of much anxiety and stress in the past, and of extreme dislike when they manifested themselves, might be part and parcel of the new entity that still calls itself MurderBot, but is not anymore. The first glimmers of that reluctant acceptance can be seen when it meets with Mensah's former colleagues and they greet it as an old friend, but the real moment of truth comes as it reunites with Mensah, the first person who saw MurderBot as a person (as uncomfortable as that was back then): in what looks like a spur-of-the-moment concession, no matter all the justifications it gives itself, the SecUnit gives Mensah permission to touch it:

I braced myself and made the ultimate sacrifice. “Uh, you can hug me if you need to.”
She started to laugh, then her face did something complicated and she hugged me. I upped the temperature in my chest and told myself it was like first aid.

It was such a delightful scene, and to me it was the first voluntary step toward the Big Unknown represented by the feelings that MurderBot had always kept away from, not out of sheer refusal, but out of fear:

I hadn’t ben afraid that she wasn’t my friend, I had been afraid that she was, and what it did to me.

With this momentous scene Exit Strategy seals the end of MurderBot's first phase of change, one that through the first four novellas showed the slow but unavoidable development of a creature that for some reason was able to overcome its programming and moved in an unexpected direction. Now that the transformations in its outward appearance have enhanced its organic (human…) side, and that it has accepted the feelings that it started experiencing vicariously through its beloved media shows, it will be fascinating to see where Martha Wells will take it and what further surprises MurderBot has in store for us.

And I can't wait… ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Apr 5, 2019 |
Another action-packed story, and another step in the development of Murderbot’s personality. She has to confront Dr Mensah, her captors, a deadly combat SecUnit, a small army of murderous agents, hack innumerable systems... but the hardest part is figuring out these pesky things called emotions. The friendliness of people is the most terrifying to our media-loving AI introvert... ( )
  Gezemice | Mar 8, 2019 |
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