ALL SYSTEMS RED
Having our hero be an apathetic, pessimistic killer android who can’t stand being looked at without its helmet on and who just wants to spend its time in the comforting grip of TV might seem to some readers like an outlandish premise, but in Wells’ hands, Murderbot is wonderfully relatable, very funny and a great narrator, editorial asides and all. The story is well put together and sketches out an intriguing future, but the real draw is our host, and the result is a story that builds to an unexpectedly moving climax. More Murderbot, please.
Murderbot may have hacked its own systems to become a free agent, but mostly it’s content to work the low-level guard jobs that require its type of SecUnit while only paying minimal attention and trying to stay caught up on its serials. Unfortunately, someone is trying to kill the scientists who are its current employers, and even more unfortunately, those scientists are coming perilously close to understanding that Murderbot is different. And if that happens, they might just start treating it like a person. (TOR.COM, May, 144 pp., $14.99)