All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Murderbot. An ominous name for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that helps humans out in the future. Martha Wells has given us the first installation (a short novel) of Murderbot in All Systems Red. This is a spunky, fun and adventurous little book. It has lots of action and diverse personalities; not the least of which is Murderbot.
Robots and Gender
I'm not sure why, and have been thinking about it for days, but I see Murderbot as a woman. This may be because I am a woman and so identify with the AI directly. It maybe that my bisexual mind just likes boobs; or it may be that I want strong robot AI's to be female because women deserve to be lethal as well. I really don't know. All I know is Murderbot was a woman for me from the first page and they have continued to be a woman in my head. Even though Wells uses they, them pronouns for Murderbot. I'm sure there is an interesting sociological or gender studies paper to be written about what gender readers see Murderbot as. Maybe the beautiful of Murderbot is that you can give them the traits you want to be gender neutral or not.
All Systems Red is full of adventurous action. From the opening page where we learn of the mining expedition Murderbot is on to the closing chapter in which a most unusual event occurs; All Systems Red delivers a quick read if nothing else. I really enjoyed the action. Although at times I did feel like the plot was a little complex (or maybe how the companies were structured was the problem) to follow. But it didn't really matter at the end of the day because the only important thing is Murderbot.
Overall - Ready for the Next One!
I already have the second book 'Artificial Condition' on the go. At less than 200 pages these short novels are fun, fast and helping me reach my (very behind) 2018 reading goal. Because Wells has kept all of the Murderbot stories short it doesn't hurt to try it out and see for yourself if it's your thing. I like them and could certainly see myself revisiting them for a reread break at times because they are quick and easy.
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