Fugitive Telemetry — Martha Wells

Although Fugitive Telemetry is tagged as book 6 and Network Effect is tagged as book 5, it seems to me that Fugitive Telemetry is in the time line before Network Effect.   If i read this series again, i would read Fugitive Telemetry before Network Effect.

As to the story:

Murderbot finds himself still on Preservation Station with Dr. Mensah, waiting for the inevitable visit from GrayCris agents when he ends up getting involved in a murder investigation.   Dr. Mensah thinks it would do him some good to work with station security and port authority agents, and so Murderbot decides to help.

This is one of those, no-one-trusts-the-AI-murder-machine, stories, with murderbot having to become a more public person now that it is going to be hanging around with Dr. Mensah doing her security.   But how can Murderbot help in the investigation if it’s not allowed access to any non-public systems and no one else on the investigation trusts it?

All in all, it’s really good but, like i mention, the timeline is a bit screwy and the flow between books could be better managed as it was in the earlier books where it was clear that where we started one book where we left off the previous book.

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Network Effect — Martha Wells

The next Murderbot installment after Home.

After all the previous books that have all been novellas and two short stories, this book is like The Big Book of Murderbot.   At over 5000 Loc points this is a book to really settle down with and enjoy for a while.

So yeah, lots and lots more of Murderbot shenanigans, with Murderbot finding himself kidnapped, kidnapped again, and then held hostage and lots of other enjoyable escapades besides.   And Murderbot even seems to make a few friends along the way.

Only two books to go after this, i do hope there’s more because Murderbot is one brilliant protagonist.

Next up, Fugitive Telemetry.

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Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory — Martha Wells

Following on from Exit Strategy, a very short short-story about Murderbot and Dr. Mensah getting back to Preservation after the kidnapping.

Next up is Network Effect.

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Exit Strategy — Martha Wells

And the train that calls itself Murderbot just keeps on a rolling.   Murderbot is relentless: brilliant fun all the way through.   Murderbot is definitely one of the best AI’s i’ve ever encountered — up there with Joseph R. Lallo’s Ma.

And it’s non-stopping straight into-ing Home for more Murderbot shenanigans.

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Rogue Protocol — Martha Wells

Since leaving off the last book, Artificial Condition, Murderbot discovers that Dr. Mensah is having a few legal difficulties, and with Murderbot’s fledgling, tiny bit of a conscience, it feels the need to go off to dig up some evidence against the evil GrayCris Corporation in order to help Dr. Mensah, who still seems to have a lot of explaining to do as to where Murderbot’s disappeared to.

And in order to get that evidence you just know it’s going to be total violent mayhem and destruction.

Great stuff from beginning to end, superb writing with not a word wasted.

And now it’s onward unto Exit Strategy.

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Artificial Condition — Martha Wells

Following straight on from where All Systems Red left off, Murderbot is now a free agent with no humans, corporations, or security systems to answer to.   That is, as long as no one realises that he’s a rogue SecUnit: which is a bit of problem when you’re a clone and exactly like every other SecUnit in existence.

Not to worry, Murderbot meet ART, “Arsehole Research Transport”, who offers to help Murderbot blend in a lot better.

And so begins our next installment of shenanigans as Murderbot goes off to the mine where it murdered dozens of humans it was supposed to be protecting in it’s dark, distance past.   The only problem being is that he now has to pretend to be an augmented human security consultant for a group of human programmers in order to get anywhere near the mine: and we all know how Murderbot feels about being around humans.

Once again, it’s only a novella length story, but Martha really knows how to pack a big story into a small space: don’t forget to take a breath occasionally.

And once you’ve had a quick breather, dive straight into the next installment, Rogue Protocol.

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All Systems Red — Martha Wells

Before you begin this, do read Compulsory to get a quick introduction to our main protagonist, Murderbot.

All Systems Red finds Murderbot hired out to a planetary survey team who really don’t seem to be needing much looking after, after all, there’s no dangerous fauna or flora on this planet and all the members of the survey team are all nice and friendly.   So Murderbot spends most of his time downloading and watching all its favourite TV shows, that is until suddenly things start going very wrong and life threatening to the survey team he is supposed to be protecting.

On top of this, the survey team also find out that Murderbot has hacked its control unit and is, and never has been, under their control.

While only 1352 Kindle loc points long, this novella really packs it in and is just lots of that non-stop story telling from the get-go.   There’s a reason this book has so many accolades:

Winner: 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Winner: 2018 Locus Award
One of the Verge’s Best Books of 2017
A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

Super good and now it’s straight into Artificial Condition, for more Murderbot adventures.

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Compulsory — Martha Wells

The prequel to the “Murderbot Diaries”.

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.”

Yes, it’s only a short story, but it’s a great introduction to the series and our main protagonist, the Murderbot.   It’s certainly got me instantly wanting to dive into the rest of the series, so it’s certainly done it’s job as a prequel.

So now there’s nothing left to do but get reading the actual first book in the series, All Systems Red.

Published in Wired, where you can read it for free.

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