All Systems Red - Martha Wells

All Systems Red

By Martha Wells

  • Release Date: 2017-05-02
  • Genre: Adventure
Score: 4
From 159 Ratings


Winner: 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Winner: 2018 Locus Award
One of the Verge's Best Books of 2017
A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

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, 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.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


  • Way Overated

    By Ryuku San
    Reading the reviews I went for it and read All Systems Red, the first book in the Murderbot series. My first impression, and I don't mean to be rude was "Really?". Let me expand on that. This is the story of a security bot that protects a group of explorers. The unit is a rental from "The Company" as is most of the explorers equipment. After a previous incident, briefly described in the novelette, Murderbot -that's what he calls himself- hacked its own "governor", a device that overrides all other commands and makes him obedient. So he's basically just following orders to hide that fact. I wont go into plot details, since I don't want to spoil it for those who decide to read it. What bothers me -a lot- about this story is the fact that "Murderbot" could also be a trained security guard, a soldier, an ex-marine even Indiana Jones. In other words: everything about him is completely human, except for the fact that he wears armor (to cover his human like body and face) and has weapons concealed inside his body. There's no difference between his psyche and that of a human. So the entire time it felt like I was reading a Sci Fi novel about a regular guy fighting the good fight. The story in itself is nothing new, I might even go as far as to call it derivative. You've read it a dozen times: bad guys want to take over an exploration site (a planet in this scenario), good guys relay on trained-for-combat guy, trained-for-combat guy defeats bad guys with wit and weapons. That's it. Yes, Murderbot can download entire series and watch them, control small drones at a distance and review footage and information of said drones in seconds, but so can his human companions, one of them an augmented human. The only novelty this novelette has to offer is the fact that the human hero is a robot hero. Alas a robot hero that is way too human, he suffers from social anxiety, he lies, he rather be somewhere else watching TV series, he wonders about his place in the universe, he wants to be free, etc., etc., ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I'm mainly disappointed by the fact that the novelette won both a Hugo an a Nebula Award. So back to my initial comment "Really?". My most sincere apologies to the autor and the readers who enjoyed All Systems Red. This is, after all, my opinion, and an opinion is not a fact.
  • Entertaining

    By R.E. g.
    This was really good! Great job author person!
  • I love Murder Bot!

    By Mia_Raven
    This book was so much fun to read!
  • Great story

    By Reader1803
    So unique and creative. Loved this book.
  • Wicked Awesome!

    By The Social Critic
    My wife and I loooove SF, this was an unexpected treat! You nailed it, I really hope this is NOT the end of murderbot's tales?! Please do write more, you definitely have two new fans here. Good job, and thank you for the adventure!
  • I expected more...

    By Heartbroken Space Ninja
    Don't expect any real character development. I felt as though it was rushed through and the writer then had to explain the missing information away. By using her character as a scapegoat, Murderbot has a nonchalant attitude and doesn't care, we're expected not to ask too many questions. Also known as the author was too lazy to write it out or give it much thought and expected the reader to "just deal with it." However, it's a nice spin on ideas and thoughts we already know to be tried and true.
  • I love grouchy AIs

    By Archangel Beth
    And this one is great. Cranky, uncomfortable with humans, not the super-weapon... Yay, MurderBot! I hear there will be, or are, more in the series? Hope so.
  • Terrific Read!

    By Ref Librarian
    This is the best! I've been awaiting this novella for months and it didn't disappoint in any way except that I want more of it, a lot more. Great world building, good characters, with the best one being the terrific Murderbot itself, married to a compelling story that moves right along. I could not put it down until I finished it. This story hit all my happy buttons and leaves me wanting more. It's funny, too. Seriously, this could have been novel length. It worked as a novella but there is so much more I want to know about that world and what happened. I hope someday Wells will write a series of novels in the Murderbot Diaries series. Go get it and enjoy!