Last year, Martha Wells published All Systems Red, the first installment of a Tor.com novella series called The Murderbot Diaries, which follows the adventures of the titular android as it is pulled into various adventures while traversing inhabited space. Wells earned considerable acclaim for All Systems Red: it became a New York Times bestseller, and earned her the Hugo and Nebula Awards earlier this year. Since then, she’s published three new installments concerning the adventures of the titular android — the last one came out earlier this month. Individually, they’re an intriguing set of adventures. But collectively, they form a larger story about a machine coming to understand what it means to be human. All Systems Red introduces readers to Murderbot, a SecUnit (short for Security Unit) android that’s tasked with protecting a group of scientists on a distant world. Things go south when they discover that another group of scientists were murdered, and MurderBot is pretty much the only thing that’s going to keep them alive. Wells elegantly portrays the non-human character, complete with a cranky persona and an addiction to TV dramas. Spoilers for The Murderbot Diaries ahead. That first book ends with Murderbot’s wards surviving, and their leader Dr. Mensah buys out the android’s contract, letting it choose to stay with them or go its own way. Murderbot promptly boards a ship headed somewhere else. Over the remaining installments — Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy — Murderbot tries to steer clear of exasperating humans; thwart… [Read full story]
The Verge is an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience.
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