cbr13bingo Rec’d (by y’all)
What can I say about Murderbot Diaries All Systems Red that has not already been said? I have nothing new to add to the conversation about Martha Wells series. Only (for those who have not read) this first novella deals with the idea of what is human and what is robot. It asks can a robot be “human” or at least human-like? Can one make that choice themselves or must someone or something validate them, make them “legitimate”?
I told a friend I was reading it and he said he had not been impressed with it (yes, I am reevaluating my friendship with him). However, his reason was it did not cover new territory. He has read much fantasy and science fiction, so this theme was not fresh. And even though it did not have to have some “wild new idea” to it, he was hoping it would add to that theme.
But I think the point was, Wells wanted to write a series of books that were accessible to non-fantasy/science fiction readers as well as genre readers. I do not know if I would have picked this book up had it not been for everyone recommending it here, but I do know that it was an easier read. Yes, it dealt with machines, science, and space, but it did not get so “spaced out” or “heavy into the science” that I lost interest, or worse, lost my mind. I once tried to read a science fiction book that was so convoluted that it was just a jumbled-up mess that I could not get to the end of the first chapter.
I was fine with the main story and enjoyed reading a familiar story, but there were parts introduced that I was wondering about. Why was there an augmented human character? What was his point? Who is he? Why was he augmented? What did that mean? And the mentioning of the open relationships among the crew and the polyamorous theme of multiple life partners, also confused me. Was that just there to “shock and awe” or will there be more? Was it there to show that the crew was going to be “okay” with a “non-human” and were “okay” with any form of showing “humanity” or “love” or “living”? What was the point?
What I came away with when finished: I liked the familiar story but there were things in it that made me wonder why. Maybe they will be answered in other books, yet due to the ending of this one, I am satisfied. I liked the anti-hero/hero walking off into the sunset (so to speak) and that is The End of it all.