In my attempts to conquer my bad reading year (both in quantity and experience) I’ve decided to just read whatever strikes my fancy and stop trying to solve it. At least for now I’m sticking to as many short works or graphic novels/comic books as I feel like reading. I’m also trying to revisit old standbys without re-reading. When I noticed that there was a Murderbot short story I wasn’t previously aware of, I leapt onto it.
It is a short story, a very short story. Only eight pages long. We get a glimpse of a day in the life of Murderbot before it met Dr. Mensah and found its humans. While trying to watch episode 44 of The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon, Murderbot is distracted (again, what is it with humans) by something that is technically outside its purview. Murderbot had been keeping the humans on the mental backburner because they were having another useless fight and it was supposed to be on guard for the company, but one of the humans ends up in danger of dying and Murderbot must decide whether to follow orders and pretend its governor unit is still working or save the human.
The core of Murderbot and how it interacts with the world around it are present here. I’m tempted to suggest it as a sample for people interested in possibly diving into Murderbot Diaries because a lot of what makes Murderbot beloved by fans is on display in Compulsory. But ultimately, I think not actually. It’s almost too stripped down (read All Systems Red first, then maybe backtrack here).
Bingo Square: Hold Steady. Murderbot keeps me steady and is most definitely stuck in a rut in this story. But its starting to find its way out.