Memoirs of a Murderbot

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It’s a common sci-fi theme: artificial intelligence bypasses human control, goes rogue, and kills everyone in sight. But the titular character of Martha Wells’s award-winning Murderbot Diaries doesn’t want to do that. After it hacks its governor module, all it wants is to be left alone to watch its favorite serial while doing the bare minimum of its security job. Too bad its human clients are constantly putting themselves in danger. Even worse, they keep asking it to talk about its feelings. 

Murderbot is a cranky, cynical narrator with more anxiety than weapons. (And it has a lot of weapons). Despite its stubborn insistence that it isn’t human and doesn’t want to be, it’s easy to relate to its frustration as it ends up on one adventure after another. After all, who hasn’t wanted to watch TV instead of dealing with their problems? As much as it complains about stupid plans, it can’t seem to stop getting involved in them—and throwing itself headfirst into danger to keep everyone else safe. With evil corporations plotting and the threat of discovery at every turn, it seems like Murderbot will never get to watch its shows in peace. But it might just find something better along the way. 

The current series consists of four novellas, with a full-length novel set to come out in 2020. If you like stories packed with action, humor, and (reluctant) friendship, check out The Murderbot Diaries! 

All Systems Red

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. 

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth. 

Winner: 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella  
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella  
Winner: 2018 Alex Award  
Winner: 2018 Locus Award 

Artificial Condition

It has a dark past–one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot“. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. 

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. 

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks… 

Rogue Protocol

Murderbot keeps getting sucked back into adventure after adventure, though it just wants to be left alone, away from humanity and small talk. 

Who knew being a heartless killing machine would present so many moral dilemmas? 

Sci-fi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah’s SecUnit is. 

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good. 

Exit Strategy

Murderbot wasn’t programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right? 

Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah–its former owner (protector? friend?)–submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit. 

But who’s going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue? 

And what will become of it when it’s caught?