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All Systems Red

(The Murderbot Diaries #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  25,451 ratings  ·  3,551 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 conducting surface tests, s
ebook, 144 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by
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Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 best stories
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 fo
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(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☽
Update: All Systems Red has now 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. It's definitely a series that's worth reading, and this first book is just $3.99 for the Kindle version.

Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

The narrator of All Systems Red is a once-nameless cybor
Jeffrey Keeten
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.”

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

He is an android SecUnit assigned to a group of scientists who are
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 isn't really into it. Who
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 book
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, an
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ->

Book 3 is scheduled to be a hardcover titled "Rogue Protocol" (The Murderbot Diaries #3)
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
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.

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 on Parks and Rec, or maybe a honey badger, because Murde
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 & characteriz
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 uncomfortable t
J.L.   Sutton
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 arc was (mo
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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?
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Featured in my rundown of the best short SFF for Spring 2017:

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 a
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 the teams are
K.J. Charles
Magnificent. 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.
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 thinking Murderbot was fem
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
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“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 keep itself
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is at least as good as most of the reviews are saying, and it's an excellent example of what can be done with a simple plot and fantastic characters at the novella length.

The story is told from the point of view of a rogue biomechanical security construct that calls itself murderbot. With its governor not working there's nothing stopping it from killing everyone in the planetary survey crew it works for. Well, other than it quite likes them and it likes being useful and having down time to
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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!
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 call
Manuel Antão
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

“I remember every word ever said to me." That was a lie. Who would want that? Most of it I delete from permanent memory.”

In "All Systems Red" by Martha Wells

The question is always the same: How is it possible to have an absolutely distinctive voice from the first page onwards? How can I build a story around the other characters by using "the eyes" of the first-person narrator? Could my hypothetical first-person narrator say something l
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Snarky robots are like catnip to me. Turns out Martha Wells is pretty funny.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Murderbot is a part robot, part human construct designed to function as Security for humans. They are a bit different from most of the Company SepcUnits becuase they have modified themselves to take out the control that the Company and the humans have over them, but they know that this is incredibly dangerous for them and so they have to keep this hidden and just pretend to still be functioning as they should.

I really liked the character of Murderbot as it's really quite a grump when it comes to
The audio read by Kevin R. Free is superbly read and a lot of fun. He captured Murderbot's personality almost exactly how I had imagined it.

* * * * *

Rereading via audio to prepare for Artificial Condition.

It's been just a year, but I'm already having trouble recalling the details of this story. Since the next one in the series is about Murderbot's origin, it's best to refresh with a reread rather than depend on faulty data storage.

* * * * *

Release date set for May 2.

Cover reveal and except at h
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
SciFi and Fantasy...: Murderbot Diaries Buddy Read 149 275 Jan 10, 2019 10:21PM  
Dragons & Jetpacks: All Systems Red / Overall discussion / ***Spoilers*** 32 67 Jan 02, 2019 07:31AM  
The Mary Sue Book...: All Systems Red by Martha Wells 14 17 Nov 01, 2018 08:26AM  
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 ...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)
  • Untitled Murderbot Novel (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.” 40 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.” 19 likes
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