All Systems Red

All Systems Red

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: New York :, Tom Doherty Associates,, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780765397539
0765397536
Characteristics: 152 pages ; 21 cm

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RobertELPL May 08, 2018

Science fiction novella that focuses on a security robot (Murderbot) that has hacked its own programming to achieve independence. Murderbot has a very sarcastic outlook on humans and would much rather be left alone than anything else. The short pager count makes for a fast delivery, but you get caught up pretty quickly. Not a lot of character development, but the focus is on the robot more than any of the humans. Slightly thought-provoking, but its page-length kind of holds it back from getting too deep.

l
LucasHill
Apr 12, 2018

Sometimes, the best thing about a book is that it is short. Altogether, this novella took me about three hours. I disliked most of that experience.

SecBot (which has privately named itself MurderBot), is a cyborg that is contracted to provide security to a team of humans (including one "augmented" human) surveying a planet for an evil corporation whose only characteristic seems to be criminally tight purse strings. The team is being chased by another shadowy group. MurderBot has a past it's ashamed of. It spends its alone time feeding its media addiction. It speaks and thinks wryly and sarcastically, and in a strangely anachronistic manner. It does its best to hide from the others on the team, which the author reminds us on nearly every page.

MurderBot is irritating. The human members of the expedition are indistinguishable from each other, save for the leader, who most willingly sees the humanity in MurderBot.

This story may be an allegory for slavery. It definitely is cobbled together with scraps from other sci-fi stories. By the end, I just didn't care for any of it..

s
Starpoem
Apr 10, 2018

It is for good reason that this book has a long waiting list at the library. It is an action-packed tale with a narrator who is full of personality. The narrator is a security bot that has overcome its programming. It's going to break free...just as soon as it catches up on the hundreds of hours of shows that it has downloaded from the entertainment feeds. :) Fate interferes, though--first the bot must fend off an attack from alien megafauna, then it discovers an act of sabotage, and pretty soon events are spiraling out of control. Once you start this book, you won't want to put it down...and you might not have to, since it is only 149 pages long!

r
rixonkj
Apr 07, 2018

If you like crying about robots (my preferred genre tbh), you must read this book immediately.

JohnK_KCMO Dec 29, 2017

Murderbot is one of the most delightful characters in current science fiction: a killing machine who tries to be a good person, who suffers from crippling social anxiety, a sarcastic misanthrope who really just wants to be left alone to watch TV. Wells uses this unique character to explore what it means to be human, an individual, the interplay of free will and compulsion. All in a 150 page action story. This is a fast, exciting, entertaining, and unexpectedly meaningful read.

j
jac523
Dec 02, 2017

Who doesn't love a socially awkward robot? Fantastic novella!

ArapahoeBridget Nov 15, 2017

Clever and funny, this might be a good choice for Mass Effect fans. The Murderbot is a delightful AI!

ArapahoeMarina Sep 18, 2017

Quick, enjoyable, and surprisingly subversive. The likable characters and thriller of a plot immediately drew me in.

fineplan Sep 14, 2017

It's easy to love Murderbot, who broke it's control chip so that it can... watch trashy tv shows and avoid the people it is assigned to. They, unfortunately, keep wanting to talk to it. Humanize it. Maybe become friends. Murderbot would rather take its social awkwardness off to a secluded corner. (and watch more bad tv) The humans keep almost dying, so Murderbot is forced to deal with them instead. (and not watch tv)

c
copper5penny
Jun 12, 2017

this is the first installment of many more to come, and I welcome it.....Martha Wells writes a real humdinger of a story that takes place on an unknown planet; a grumpy SecUnit security droid hacks its own com mode, and watches reruns of soap operas downloaded from the Network as it stands guard over planet exploratory scientists.....then murders happen, a rival corporate boss attempts a massacre, and the SecUnit reluctantly steps in to protect the hapless group, as it tries to balance a search for self-identity alongside a surprising surge of felt responsibility to fulfill at least the bones of its original contract to the scientists......calls itself 'Murderbot'.....

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