by Martha Wells
I just love Murderbot, and its patron Dr. Mensah, and the thoughtful, fascinating ways in which this author portrays an intelligence indelibly linked and embedded within systems information. Its an information ecology that I never really think about, but is present in more immature forms in our world today as well.
Murderbot is on a station within the Preservation Alliance. It’s cut off from some security systems voluntarily because its patron, Dr. Mensah, asked it to comply with the station security head’s request to do so.
So when a dead body is found in an unused corridor, Murderbot can’t just activate data from hacked station feeds like it usually does. It has to spend a lot more time on gumshoe footwork. Meanwhile, the relationship fun in this book (small book, only 172 pages really) comes from Murderbot slowly winning over the security head as well as getting help from other former friends at critical junctures.
No ART, sadly.
And I can’t spoil this book by telling you what Murderbot uncovers, but let’s just say that for the first time it isn’t GrayCris providing the bad actors. There’s also a bit less of those amazing action-battle scenes in this story, and a lot more plodding detective-work, but as it consists of references to feeds, systems, cameras, data, etc. I do have to work to keep up with what’s being referenced.
I hope we get to see ART again soon!
If you haven’t started reading Murderbot Diaries, start with the first novella: All Systems Red