Released: May 2nd 2017
All Systems Red is about an android (partially synthetic, partially organic) that is charged with protecting a scientific team on a new and relatively unknown planet. Having no name of his own, he names himself Murderbot, which makes sense in a weird sort of way. It took me less than two hours in total to read, so it doesn’t require much of an investment in time (Though I would have loved for it to be longer).
Murderbot is different from all the other androids. He figured out how to hack hi way to freedom. Now he doesn’t have to follow orders, or install updates automatically. Instead he can watch all the crummy TV he wants. He pretends to do everything he was programmed to do, just so nobody catches on, but there really isn’t a requirement for him to do so.
Human interaction is awkward for Murderbot. He knows he’s not one of them, and he knows they know that, making it difficult for him to move past it. Despite this, he grows truly attached to certain members of the crew he’s protecting. Everything about the interactions he has is oddly…human. It’s endearing.
The crew ends up in a set of very dangerous circumstances, with a third party trying to wipe them out in order to keep them silent. Murderbot makes the conscious decision to stay with them and protect them. Murderbot finding a way to free himself and therefor think for himself, raises a lot of questions about sentience and the definition for what is human. His choosing to help humans because it’s the right thing to do (and because he likes them) is another point in his favor, in my opinion.
I wish I had more to say about All Systems Red, but it was just short enough where there weren’t as many details to pick over. I would love to see more from this world, and seeing that this is labeled #1 in the series gives me hope.