Last summer I discovered the Murderbot Diaries through a review by Bookfool and fell in love with Murderbot, a construct AI and SecUnit, who has altered its governor module and is now self-aware and trying to find out more about itself now that it is free from having to obey commands from the Company.
All Systems Red, the first novella, gives some background about its name and his job is protecting the Company's clients. MB binge-watches Sanctuary Moon as a way to relax. There's humor, action, suspense, and a villainous corporation called Graychris.
Artificial Condition has MB leaving its friends? (it is still trying to understand exactly what it is and friends is another new concept). (I keep having to correct my pronouns. MB is genderless, but I keep typing "he" or "his.") Anyway, MB manages to get on a Research Transport with an AI that MB names ART, for Asshole Research Transport.
In short, I loved the above novellas, and recently, when I was giving myself a rest from gardening and nursing my aching back, I discovered that I had a bunch of audible credits and spent several days catching up on the series. Listening to novellas doesn't take too long, and I worked on some embroidery and went about catching up on neglected household chores while engrossed with the new additions to the Murderbot Diaries.
Rogue Protocol is the third novella in the series, and I enjoyed getting back to the adventures of MB and its transition to becoming more itself and more human in its flaws.
MB decides to get more evidence against GrayChris corporation for Dr. Mensah.
He It meets Micki, a bot MB considers a pet. Upbeat, friendly Micki is quite a contrast to grumpy MB, and MB finds Micki irritating. By the end of the novella, MB has unintentionally and without acknowledging it, learned something about friendship.
From the beginning, the density of these novellas (I'm not usually fond of novellas) has surprised me, and I've enjoyed all the snarky humor and the way in which MB develops in its search for identity. In Exit Strategy, he returns to Preservation Station to aid Dr. Mensah.
Moving from SecUnit to human, if we consider what "human" means, MB becomes more accepting of his need protect others as an essential part of its self. Continuing to make fun of human flaws and failures, it is also subconsciously aware of its own similar failings.
This was intended to be the last of the series, but fortunately, Wells has continued!
As much as MB has evolved, he still doesn't feel comfortable with humans (with a few exceptions of his friends from All Systems Red), but when a body is found on Preservation Station, MB is drafted into the investigation. More confident in his abilities, he works with Insah, who still isn't comfortable with SecUnits of any kind, to resolve the mystery.
(Note this was published after the full-length novel Network Effect, but chronologically belongs here.)
Science Fiction. April 27, 2021.
Network Effect is a full-length novel that brings ART back into the picture!
I'm so enamored with this series, and it was fun having a longer version.
Will Martha Wells go back and add to the novellas that lead up to the novel or will she take MB on to further adventures with ART? Whichever way Wells proceeds with this series, I'm in for the count.
As long as she keeps MB having adventures, I'll keep reading!
Read in March; blog review scheduled for April 5.
2020. Print length: 350 pages.