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All Systems Red

Written by: Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

NOTE This book is only 3 hours long!

The story itself is ok. Not amazing. Hugely disappointed that I used a credit on a short 3 hour disappointment.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Great little read :)

Pretty good narrator. Really liked the story and gonna start book 2 right away! I'm happy I came across this little story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael - Audible Editor
  • 2017-11-06

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.

91 of 98 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Garrett Stone
  • 2018-11-05

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

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elle L.F.
  • 2018-10-30

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.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Manda Morton
  • Dallas, Tx USA
  • 2018-08-30

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Richard Reynolds
  • 2018-10-02

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"

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 2018-07-20

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • CCM
  • 2018-07-14

Extraordinary

This is really original SF and it kept me on the edge of my seat. It's a short, concentrated read - the opposite of the bloated space operas that are so common now - nothing extra, through so much is hinted at and alluded to, a much larger story provides context. There is nothing in excess. The Hemingway of SF? Highest quality writing, originality and reading. I can't wait for more in this universe, because the main character is truly fascinating, and clearly will be growing and changing during well-told adventures.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Areader
  • 2017-11-01

All Systems Red does not disappoint.

All Systems Red is the first Murderbot Diary, the adventures of a cyborg security unit who hacked its governor module, named itself “Murderbot” and promptly got addicted to streaming media.

This is its account of its adventures trying to keep a group of human scientists alive on a hostile and unknown world without them figuring out it has free will and leaving itself enough time to watch its soaps. The novella is sharp and witty, with a wry sense of humor and a sharp eye for what makes someone sentient and how freedom doesn’t always mean the same thing to different beings.

Kevin R Free as the narrator does a decent job, but somehow seems to miss the point of Murderbot. Murderbot sounds like a human in its own head, it’s a cyborg, it only pretends to be a robot for the humans. Free has it acting robotic all the time and I thought that made the wry humor a little harder to enjoy. Still it’s a great story with well-rounded characters and I recommend the print and audible versions highly.

58 of 72 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David M
  • 2018-04-14

A robot too human and humans too robotic

I rarely write a negative review. This book has earned it. The plot was uninteresting and the characters were completely undeveloped and lacking personality. The robot behaved completely human like a brooding teenager from a YA novella.

The narrator appears as uninspired as the book and lacks the energy to bring these anorexic characters to life.

The positive criticism I can provide is that I am glad it was such a short book because I was agonizingly aware of the passage of time. Very disappointed with this purchase.

47 of 61 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • wonkyblox
  • 2018-05-25

I wish I knew this 'Murderbot'

I hope that when the other two books come out in paper and on Kindle, that there will also be Audible available for them.
And just as important, Kevin R. Free MUST narrate those two books as well. I just can't imagine Murderbot with anyone else's voice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marion Tournier
  • 2018-11-15

Excellent 👌

The story is so great, and the narration just puts this to a whole new level of awesomeness. I listened to it in one setting, I was so hooked. Amazing, I'd totally recommend it to my friends.