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All Systems Red

(The Murderbot Diaries #1)

by
4.15  ·  Rating details ·  42,423 ratings  ·  5,577 reviews
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 con
...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Tor.com
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Start your review of All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
Patrick
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm painfully aware of the fact that most of my reviews end up being... well... not reviews.

Usually what I do on here is tell stories about how I feel about books. Or I muse about the nature of storytelling. Or I maunder on about some element of the book I read and use it as a stepping off point to discuss characterization, or tension, or something like that.

So let me do something that I rarely do in these reviews, I'm going to make simple declarative statement.

This is one of the b
...more
carol.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans, introverts
"Confession time: I don't actually know where we are.... I hadn't looked at the maps yet and I'd barely looked at the survey package. In my defense, we'd been here twenty-two planetary days and I hadn't had to do anything but stand around watching humans make scans or take samples of dirt, rocks, water, and leaves. The sense of urgency just wasn't there. Also, you may have noticed, I don't care."

I can relate to Murderbot, the misanthropic construct who is contracted to provide security detail
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
(4.25) I related to Murderbot a bit too much…

Murderbot is a half robot, half human construct who’s job is to be a security guard to protect some humans while they do their research on a planet.

Thing is, Murderbot doesn’t really like humans and would rather watch entertainment videos all day.

Fun novella, I just want moooore!
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Feb. 2019 reread, just for fun! And to see if my rating would change now that I've read the full set of MURDERBOT DIARIES novellas (spoiler alert: it didn't, but I did enjoy this reread a little more than my initial read). All Systems Red won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novella, not to mention several other awards. There are (so far) three sequels and I loved them all! ... even more than this first book, truth be told, though maybe it just took me a while to really warm up to Murderbot. I ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Omg! I love MurderBot!! She’s awesome and she’s a she to me. <— that was all kinds weird and rhyming!

Anyway, I love MB’s personality! I don’t feel like rambling on so I’m just going to add a few quotes! They will contain some SPOILERS so be warned!

••••••••••••

I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or s
/>
...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
“I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don't know, a little under 35,00 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

These novellas are a story of what it means to be human, and a story
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
”I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It was well over 35,000 hour or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

”I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It was well over 35,000 hour or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

 photo 25af3a01-eeb9-434b-aac5-6cec5cc1594f_zpst28wgryr.jpg

He is an android SecUnit assigned to a group of scientists who are taking surface samples on some far flung planet. Everything is going fine. He is binge watching his way through a space opera called Sanctuary Moon, which is about the only thing that is keeping him sane. The humans he is assigned to keep alive are better than the average group, but really he just wants to be left alone so he can figure out exactly who he is now that he can choose what commands he obeys.

It is a secret that must remain hush hush, or he will be stripped down to factory settings and wake up with a functioning governor module.

Fortunately, he doesn’t have to be Daniel Day-Lewis; a version of Arnold Schwarzenegger will work just fine.

And then some creature tries to eat one of his humans. SecUnits are designed to throw themselves at something. 90% of their bodies can be regrown or replaced in a cubicle that is designed to power them back up quickly. In the battle he is in with the creature, he manages to win, but by the time he gets back to the habitat, he is operating at about 58%.

Not good.

You would think a hostile creature attack would be enough to have on his plate, but the habitat of the other group of scientists can not be reached. He soon realizes that there is a grand conspiracy from some unknown entity of corporate origin who wants to wipe the whole team out. This situation is so far beyond his designed capabilities that he is having a very human reaction. ”I was depressed this morning. I’d tried watching some new serials last night and even they couldn’t distract me; reality was too intrusive. It was hard not to think about how everything was going to go wrong and they were all going to die and I was going to get blasted to pieces or get another governor module stuck in me.”

The other baffling problem is the humans in his care are starting to like him and treat him like a real person. An interesting development, but he is feeling more annoyed by the change in their behavior than he is feeling vindicated by the elevation in status. Not to mention, can he really trust the humans not to reveal his true nature to the kind of people who would cut him up for parts rather than try to understand the new complexities of his emerging personality?

It is better to stay paranoid.

He can’t escape his caged past, nor the name he has given himself that can only be thought in the confines of his own matrix…Murderbot.

I always love stories about androids becoming more sentient and, in many cases, becoming better humans than humans. Unfortunately, the bar is pretty low. The struggle that Murderbot has with ungoverned feelings and the accompanying illogic that comes from being, dare I say, affectionate are just beginning. I’m sure this will be explored further in the three books that are already scheduled to be published. He is a loveable, murderous character, who is navigating those turbulent, emotional waters that take normal humans decades to start to figure out. Martha Wells has infused the story with the right mix of angst and humor that make the story fun and thrilling to read. I’m certainly on board for more.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
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Bradley
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-shelf, sci-fi
When I heard the premise I expected a light robot killer story from the PoV from the robot. Probably a PI mystery kind of thing because that seems to be pretty hot right now. I can rattle off a handful of titles like this right now.

So. What did I get? A fun and light robot murderer who hacks herself to have free will and she stops murdering to watch SF sitcoms instead. :)

Honestly, that's pretty cool. Yeah, her official bruiser job is still there but her mechanical heart i
...more
Petrik
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A super short and quite fun read.

This will be a short review. All Systems Red is the first book in The Murderbot Diaries quartet by Martha Wells. I've heard tons of praises about this novella and series; All Systems Red in particular received plenty of awards and because of that I was super excited to start this. The first 30% was honestly fun to read, I laughed and smiled a few times and I loved just how much of a spirit animal Murderbot is. And then I realized that the only thing from the
...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
All Systems Red is funny and sarcastic and it really will resonate with a lot of readers and introverts. This quote says it all for me, and it’s one of the best openers I’ve read in a long time.

"I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It was well over 35,000 hour or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under
...more
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Niki's Narrative Novella Review [Part 1/4]: All Systems Red seemed to have everything I’d been hounding for in a good sci-fi – an interesting character, a compelling mystery, exploration, and some cool technology shit. Five pages into this novella and I was able to check off all the things. Hell, one sentence into this book and I knew we were going to get along (Wells is so good at opening lines. I haven’t even read The Wizard Hunters yet, but for years now I’ve been using it as a positive examp ...more
Lois Bujold
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction readers
Recommended to Lois by: an accumulation of internet mentions

Having been seeing reviews and mentions of this novella for quite a while, I finally got around to it. (Besides being quite interested in what other authors are doing with the newly-freed-by-e-publishing novella length these days.)

Three things I have realized I need to enjoy a story in any genre are an interesting and congenial narrative headspace (not the same thing as viewpoint, more the sense of what flavor of author's head I am entering); good interiority (which is in the character
...more
Melanie
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this! And it had such a great discussion on what it means to be human and what we are all willing to do in the name of trust. I can't wait to continue on with this series! <3

Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

Buddy read with Lea! ❤

❤ I read this for The Reading Rush, 2019!
Karl
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Entry #1

I will be starting to read this book in a few hours. I just found out that Ms. Wells has sold a total of four (count em (4)) novellas in the Murderbot series with the second titled "Artificial Condition" (16.99 for a hardcover and 9.99 for the kindle) to appear somewhere near the beginning of 2018 and upon a bit of research found the the book here at GR ->

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...?

Book 3 is scheduled to be a hardcover titled "Rogue Protocol" (The Murderbot Diaries #3) found here -->
...more
Jilly
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, novella
*Edited to add*
I met Martha Wells today!!

I'm on the left. Yes, my hair is lavender.
I am finally starting a blog. It is about time, yeah? Only a thousand reviews to add onto that site. www.jillyshmilly.blogspot.com

This book takes several pages to get acclimated, and also to get some understanding of our narrator. He (I'm using "he" although Murderbot doesn't have a gender) is part human/part robot and is really very much like April Ludgate
...more
Philip
3ish stars.

Some heavy themes wrapped up in what is otherwise a relatively fluffy novella. The plot's straight-forward, the prose is decent, but it's charming and witty. Murderbot, who repeatedly says that she'd rather be netflixing, is surprisingly relatable. One of my favorite parts is when Murderbot is faced with the prospect of spending time with people and is (understandably) horrified. She can't control her facial reaction which in turn makes the human crew she's assigned to uncomfort
...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
The Murderbot novella series had crossed my path a time or two before I finally picked it up, but it was the glowing recommendation from my book buddy TS & the convenient timing of an Audible Daily Deal that pushed my curiosity over the edge!

This was such an adorable story, which is ironic since the name of the series is Murderbot. But despite Murderbot's name for itself, it's actually a rather hilarious & relatable individual.

Being deeply invested in downloaded media & characterized by it's inabilit
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming, I think, is the right word to describe Martha Wells’ All Systems Red. It wasn’t what I’d expected. I had seen that it was the first installment in something called The Murderbot Diaries and that it focused on a self-aware AI. This AI is known as a Security Unit (Murderbot is the name it gives itself). However, even as it becomes more aware of who it is, it sees itself as something of a failure. Rather than following protocols, it prefers binge-watching a science fiction soap opera call ...more
Gavin
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.

That was the hook that drew me to Martha Wells's fantastic sci-fi novella All Systems Red. It was everything an AI sci-fi story should be and then some! It was thought provoking but also entertaining and engaging.

In a future dominated by big corporations any new planetary exploratory teams need to be accompanied by a Company owned SecUnit android. Ostensibly this is to keep them safe but it also helps the Company monitor what
...more
Trish
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novella nominated for several awards and I know why.

In this story, a security robot breaks its own company protocol, freeing itself from any restraints, thus allowing its personality to unfold. Through the eyes of "Murderbot" (she's named herself that way), we experience what it is like to work with and for humans, that humans come in all forms (good and bad and everything in between), what the company creating these robots programs them to do (and what not) - and, ultimately, we lear
...more
Mir
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murderbot doesn't want to murder anyone.

Murderbot just wants to be free.

Free to binge-watch soap operas.

Is that too much to ask?
Hannah
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had so much fun reading this short little novella. I needed something quick and easy to read after Leviathan Wakes, and this just fit the bill. It is snarky and witty and surprisingly well-rounded.

Our main character and point of view is Murderbot, as it likes to call itself. It is working security for a group of explorers when things start to go sideways. Murderbot is the clear focus of this book and rightfully so: it is hilarious in its pessimism and sympathetic in its apathy. Its
...more
K.J. Charles
Magnificent. Tor.com continue to rock it with this fantastic tale of a self-hacked cyborg security unit with a gloriously bad attitude. It just wants to sit there downloading soaps but HEY HO SABOTAGE, PEOPLE TO SAVE, PEOPLE TO KILL.

Terrific writing, lovely characterisation, very funny, and there will be more! Consider me glued.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Maybe 4.5* but I had to bump it to 5* because I was just so happy while reading it.

2nd read: Loved it just as much the second time round!
Gary
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Featured in my rundown of the best short SFF for Spring 2017: https://1000yearplan.com/2017/12/13/l...

The difficulty of reconciling one’s private self with one’s public façade produces a multitude of anxieties that manifest in different ways. For the self-styled Murderbot of Martha Wells "All Systems Red", a SecUnit (security robot) who lacks the full autonomy the privileged class (in this case, humans) enjoy, the coveting of its private self is not just a way to stay sane, but a way to remain alive and employed. Its internal
...more
Jane
Ok, I read (listened) to this one way back in May. I put off reviewing it because I had really mixed feelings. But now I've put it off for so long I don't really remember what those feelings were.

Things I remember liking:
*Murderbot's snark
*Murderbot's apathy about everything except watching videos (I like me some tv too!)
*Murderbot's niggling conscience that wouldn't stay tamped down no matter how hard Murderbot tried

Things I was conflicted about:
I went into this book t/>
I
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Emma
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“You may have noticed that when I do manage to care, I’m a pessimist.”

What a fantastic novella! I’ve had Martha Wells on my tbr list for a long time and even downloaded one of her fantasy novels but have never felt like reading it. The other day this came to my attention and thought maybe it would serve as an access story.
Murderbot is a Secbot, designed to guard and protect clients on missions. Murderbot has a great personality and loves downloading soaps and other entertainment to
...more
Sh3lly
Murderbot is a part human (organic) and part machine being who works security for off-planet groups that do work and explore. The humans they are working for (the bot has no gender) experience trouble (like murder and sabotage and stuff) and Murderbot must save the day.

So this was entertaining and a very quick read. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it didn't quite live up to the hype for me. Murderbot is trying (through no fault of their own) to be more human or at least adapt to humanit
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
I had heard all sorts of wonderful things about All Systems Red before I picked it up (I have a lot of Goodreads friends who know their stuff when it comes to sci-fi! Yes, I'm looking at you, Caro M.) Now I trust their recommendations even more, because this book is easily my best February read. You can read the post with better formatting here on my blog.

5 Reasons To Read All Systems Red

"Murderbot" is a jailbroken security android (cyborg? Well, you know.) Basically, SecUnits (as they're called) function as remotel
...more
TS Chan
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The introduction to The Murderbot Diaries is simply great fun! A refreshing and diverting sci-fi novella with wide appeal; a marvellous package of wry humour, suspense and a healthy dose of compassion.

As much as I love science fiction, I don't consider myself as a hardcore reader of the genre, and there are a lot of popular series or "required reading" which I have yet to catch-up on. In this respect, I find this book to be original; it is not a space opera, cyberpunk and it is not about an alien
...more
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4,001 followers
Martha Wells has written many fantasy novels, including The Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads), the Ile-Rien series (including The Death of the Necromancer) as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, media tie-ins (for Star Wars and Stargate: Atlantis), and non-fiction. Her most recent fantasy novel is The Harbors of the Sun in 2017, the final novel in The Books of the Raksura series. She has a new serie ...more

Other books in the series

The Murderbot Diaries (5 books)
  • Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)
  • Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)
  • Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries, #4)
  • Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
“I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don't know, a little under 35,00 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.” 63 likes
“Yes, talk to Murderbot about its feelings. The idea was so painful I dropped to 97 percent efficiency. I’d rather climb back into Hostile One’s mouth.” 36 likes
More quotes…