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Publisher's Summary

All Systems Red is the tense first science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie's Imperial Raadch series, or Iain M. Banks' Culture novels.

All Systems Red tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self-discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans.

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.

©2017 Martha Wells (P)2017 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about All Systems Red

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good...but...

The story was interesting and it has a great "hook" to bring you into the story-line rather quickly, however the book falls short toward the end. Now the problem could be me...in that this appears to be an "episode" rather than an a stand alone novel. I only listen to audiobooks, so it may very well be classified as a novella or a multi-part book.
Given that it costs me 1 credit for only a little over 3 hours of listening; I don't think I will be continuing on with the other episodes. The story and performance just don't seem worth the time/money when I could spend that same credit on 11+ hours of some riveting story.

120 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I just wish all four stories were one book...

Martha Wells tells a great story, with a fantastic protagonist that I can genuinely relate to. While many people might think of a sci fi setting and picture themselves as a dating adventure hero, I think Murderbot might be the closest thing to how I would picture myself in such a setting; uncomfortable talking to people, would rather be relaxing and enjoying books or movies than pretty much anything else, and when called upon to do battle, might just have 40-60% of my body shot off. I enjoyed every bit of the story.

The good news is that it's a short novels, so I can easily listen to it again. The bad news is that all 4 of the novellas in the series cost as much as full-length books, which means it costs 4 credits (or $ equivalent) to get as much content as you would get in 1 or 2 standard novels. That part burns a bit, but all in all, still probably worth it.

#tagsgiving #sweepstakes

153 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Where’s the rest of the book?

This book is amazing, but it’s like the beginning of a story. This book is a novella not a novel! I know I would highly enjoy this series, but I will not be buying the next book and paying full price for a 150ish page book.

62 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, but.... unabridged???

This is the first review I've ever taken the time to write. I really enjoyed this story and it has a lot of potential, but I kept checking to see if I had accidentally skipped a chapter or whether the audiobook had kept playing in the background when I wasn't listening. The catalog description claims this is an unabridged recording, but it absolutely feels like its missing pieces of the story. So now after finishing the book 1, I feel a little cheated by the author and audible. This story has really great potential, but I feel like its missing a lot of detail and I often felt like I missed the first half of the chapter. This caused confusion as my mind raced to try and fill in the gaps which only resulted in paying less attention to the narrative. I have no reason to believe this won't continue for the remaining three books. I feel as though Audible could have easily combined all
four into a single book and charged a single credit. All combined only about 12 hours of listening and this feels about right for a single credit. There are certainly many other excellent books available that are much longer than this.

Now I'm definitely unsure whether I will continue listening to the next 3 unless they are on sale for half price or less.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Three hours, really?

interesting story, but at a mere three hours long, the characters didn't get developed enough for me. Not a bad book, just a short book. To paraphrase Randy Newman, "Short novels got no reason to live"

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I LOVE MURDERBOT

This book was just what I needed to get my out of a recent listening rut. I had been pouring through longer literary fiction type stuff that was really heady and then I started this on a whim and it was a sheer delight.

The world-building is immaculate, the plot is solid and well-paced, but most importantly MURDERBOT. S/HE is the man. I'm assuming he's a man because of the narrator's voice, but I think he's just an asexual SEC Unit that is supposed to be a killing machine but just wants to watch movies.

So relateable. And I just really love how Martha Wells crafts the environment kind of secondarily, you don't even notice that she is describing and explaining details about the world because it all takes a back seat to Murderbot's sardonic, sarcastic observations.

I had only two issues with this story.

1. It is too short
2. The ending is abrupt! It could have been flushed out a lot more, but just kind of cut off.

Now I'm left hoping for a sequel, hopefully one that has a little more meat, because this stuff is delicious.

117 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This series is 12 hours for $40.

interesting book could have been flushed out a bit more. 3 hours for over $10 it was a bit ridiculous. Each book in the four-part series is 3 hours. That's $40 for 12 hours of listening. Quite expensive and frankly it feels like a gimmick or a trick. I won't buy any more until they come out in a single Book for a better price. Be warned.

99 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting Concept With Unsatisfactory Execution

This concept is a new one for me. So, it caught my interest initially. As I spent more time listening to Murder Bot, the more I found my attention drifting.

The action, when it happened, was well written and pretty interesting. However, the lack of plausible explanation of why a lot of things were able to happen and did happen was annoying.

Will I listen to this again? No. Would I recommend it? No. Would I read another book in the series? No.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I had a hard time staying interested.

The initial premise and Character POV was interesting. But it quickly dissolved has the main character became an apathetic teenager. I guess my idea of a sentient AI isn’t overly emotional and selfish, and I couldn’t get passed that..
I feel like the author didn’t fully understand the character she was writing and gave herself permission to be ignorant and write a human character in a robots body by making the “murderbot” enjoy tv shows. Which is a strange route to take. The implications of a truly sentient AI working to keep his rogue program a secret is a great idea and I wish I could have gotten a better researched story. The whole “robot” aspect could have been interchanged with other species of any sort (fantasy, alien, animal, or even just antisocial human) and the text would have remained largely unchanged.
I was really interested in the robot aspect and gaining a unique perspective. I finished this story having never gotten that perspective.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! A book with well developed characters.

I am usually pushed into writing a review because I'm so irritated by poorly developed characters in a novel. A personality flaw that I have been trying to deal with. So I am pushing myself to write this review for the opposite reason. This story is so well written that the main character almost grows right out of the pages (or earbuds), what a treat. What fun! Thank you Martha Wells, and thank you Kevin Free, and thanks to the whole production staff. This book is a fine example of why I have loved reading since I was a little boy in Florida before Elvis was the king. Of course I will continue the series with my fingers securely crossed in the hope of a continued voyage of discovery. So, enough talking, I'm off to the stars with Murderbot. Wish me luck on book two!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rick
  • 02-10-19

Good fun, well written, good main character

So I've been on a bit of a binge of sentient AI stories over the last couple of years - the Bobiverse series by Dennis E. Taylor, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, The Imperial Radch by Anne Leckie, probably others. I wasn't sure I wanted to try another one, but the blurb intrigued me and all the others have been so different I gave it a go. I was glad I did. Not amazing writing, but Martha Wells strength is in her main character and her universe.

There are a few negatives - I dislike when I feel like I'm smarter than the characters and can figure out the mystery (or most of it) ahead of them, but it wasn't too bad this time, I'm trying to avoid spoilers so won't say any more. Most of the supporting characters are very one (or maybe two) dimensional. The strengths are many. There's no unnecessary scenes, the author only gives as much info about her universe as is needed for the story, and I really enjoyed the likeable portrayal of the main character. The action wasn't over the top heroic - all violence had a cost to all involved, and - as I said before - no unnecessary scenes.

I wasn't hooked at first on the narrator, he doesn't do voices well IMHO, but I got used to his voice after a while so no real issues there.

Overall this is a great book if you love the sentient AI genre of sci-fi, and a good book if you're ambivalent. At three hours and 17 min it's a little on the short side, so if you hate it then your suffering won't last long. I'm definitely buying the next one.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-28-19

Way too short for the price

Fine in of itself, had the story kept on for maybe another 5 or 6 hours, it would have gotten a solid 4 stars. my bad for not checking the run time before shelling out my hard earned cash.
The plot is relatively thin, but redeemed by the emotional complexity and quirky internal monologue of the outwardly butch protagonist.

I see a worthwhile movie in there somewhere

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Doyle
  • 12-13-18

Humans arnt.to be trusted

Hang out with the humans? or stay in the cargo pod?
mmm....easy choice.
I burned through this audiobook, darkly funny, action packed.
If you are somewhere on the spectrum, gay or just seriously distrust people, this book is for you.
I know who I was barracking for.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave McKenzie
  • 06-10-19

Autistic robot decides he doesn't want to kill

Concept was engaging but execution poor. The murderbot just didn't seem robotic at all, less of a sentient AI and more of an autistic kid that lucked his way into PMC work. The audio volume varied greatly, performance wasn't too bad though. Definitely not worth the usual price - got it on the daily deal and would've been upset to use a credit on it. Good buy for $2 though

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • baz
  • 01-06-21

more a short story

liked it but a short story, not worth full price, shame as main character could be great.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • james
  • 05-25-19

Great but short

Very funny and worth listening to. But its so short needs to be double the size

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-07-19

Short, simple, and highly entertaining.

Who doesn't want to hear about the adventures of a disenfranchised murder-bot?

Lot's of fun, the story was quite entertaining, and the world building was interesting enough. I'm only slightly disappointed that the murder-bot was more of a cyborg than a straight-up robot.

There's not a lot of depth as far as exploring how AI's might fit into or interact with society, and the story is relatively unrelated to AIs. I would still very much recommend it as a fun little story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick Rout
  • 11-15-21

Very Happy

This was a fantastic book ! really enjoyed the plot and performance. The story line was inventive and the main character had depth.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RudeName69
  • 11-02-21

Just getting into it and it ends

This is too short for the price and has put me off continuing the series. Seems like a great story, but it goes no where, nothing is explained very little happens apart from character development and then... the end. Buy the next book.

No.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca de Salis
  • 10-30-21

Loved it but too short

I thoroughly enjoyed it until i realised it was over. The ending was unsatisfying and the book was far too short. Hard to recommend based on this