All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries

by Martha Wells

Tor, 2017

Adult Science Fiction Novella

9 cups of tea out of 11

Summary: Murderbot is assigned to protect a survey group on an unfamiliar planet. Mostly it would like to stay in its own cubicle, away from others, and binge-watch its favorite shows. Unfortunately things go horribly wrong and its forced to protect these people it didn’t think it cared about.

Likes: The plot was engaging and was the perfect fit for novella size. I also really liked Murderbot. It is snarky and antisocial but also becomes fiercely protective.

Dislike: To be fair this isn’t really a dislike but the prose is straight-forward. No bells and whistles, no extraordinary passages.

Overall this totally deserves to be considered for the Nebula and Hugo Awards in the novella category. I read The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang last year and I loved it. The only strike I have against that one is that the story was a bit too big to be a novella. There was a lot taken out that I would have liked to see and probably would have worked in novel format. So between the two I’d say that All Systems Red is slightly better but I highly recommend both.

Content: Language is liberally sprinkled throughout and there are instances of violence plus the aftermath of violence.

9 thoughts on “Review: All Systems Red

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