CBR 13 Bingo: Machinery
Fugitive Telemetry fills the gap between the ending of the fourth Murderbot novella, Exit Strategy, and the follow up full length novel Network Effect. As such it helps bridge Murderbot’s development, from the uncertainty of suddenly becoming a free individual to the more confident, and comfortable in their role, Murderbot of Network Effect. Physically size wise, Fugitive Telemetry is on par with the other novellas, however, it felt more like a short story to me. Perhaps that has to do with the action taking place over a couple hours as opposed to days. But like the other Murderbot books, it puts our favorite SecUnit into a new situation where the operational parameters are different from before, with all the wit, humor, and side commentary that makes reading Murderbot so fun.
Murderbot has been a standard SecUnit, a pretend augmented human, and a pretend SecUnit controlled by a handler, now a free agent they struggle to find cooperation and acceptance with Preservation Station security forces. Murderbot’s paranoia has them constantly looking over the shoulder of Senior Officer Indah, convinced station security is not sufficient to guard Mensah from GrayCris agents, who are still a valid threat. Indah, understandably, doesn’t trust Murderbot, regardless of what Mensah and crew have to say on the matter.
When a dead body is found on the station, Mensah requests that Murderbot be involved in the investigation, much to Station Security’s dismay. Hampered by not having access to Station or Port Authority systems, Murderbot goes about investigating in an old fashioned, for them, manner. Literally asking other bots questions and even virtually knocking on the doors of ships docked at port asking them for information.
Fugitive Telemetry is a good Murderbot read and an expansion on the growth of the character but it doesn’t quite hit the 4 star mark for me. While All Systems Red, Artificial Intelligence, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy had an over all story arc, this book feels much more stand alone. Story wise, I don’t know that we needed to know about this transition period, and I’m curious if this will relate to future Murderbot books, but I always enjoy spending time with my second favorite paranoid construct (Marvin the Paranoid Android will always be first in my heart!).
Indah added, You are the most paranoid person I’ve ever met, and I’ve worked in criminal reform for twenty-six years.” I don’t even know how to react to that. She’s not wrong but hey, I need my paranoia.