All Systems Red - Martha Wells

All Systems Red

By Martha Wells

  • Release Date: 2017-05-02
  • Genre: Adventure
Score: 4.5
From 639 Ratings


Winner: 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella
Winner: 2018 Alex Award
Winner: 2018 Locus Award
One of the Verge's Best Books of 2017
A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

"As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure."

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.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


  • Very interesting

    By hayley.y.wood
    Loved the quick pace of this book!
  • A Great Short Read

    By It'sLiterature
    All Systems Red does a fantastic job portraying dramatic irony through dialogues on consciousness. The dramatic irony of Murderbot’s inner workings makes this a funny read with a concise, compact storyline. While it is a short read, it is well worth the money.
  • Ending threw me off

    By MerelyAGhost
    Awesome book. Wish the ending was different.
  • Same, Murderbot, same...

    By T-weave
    I never thought I’d relate to a sentient murder machine, but here we are.... All Systems Red is the first novella in Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries, and I’m so so happy to have found this series. This book has a very fun and original plot, all told by Murderbot itself. And sprinkled throughout the plot is the moral dilemma of a servant robot that has human-like consciousness. Is it slavery or does Murderbot lack any inherent value as a free being? It’s a sentient robot (part organic, part nonorganic) whose experiences with depression, insecurity, boredom, and various other complicated emotions lead it to ease its mind by binge-watching its favorite human TV shows. Sounds pretty human to me. All Systems Red has a fun and engaging story, enjoyable characters, good world-building, and mixed into all of that is a moral struggle with Murderbot’s personhood. Reading the whole story from its perspective makes it all the more compelling and funny.
  • Fun first person AI story, quick little page-turner

    By SafeTinspector
    I’m always game for a sympathetic first-person AI story, and while Murderbot isn’t completely artificial it fits the mold as it navigates life as a secretly free individual who hides that freedom by continuing to perform as the slave it once was. Murderbot is refreshingly free of higher purpose, squandering it’s freedom just like most of us do, watching trash tv and reading trashy fiction. Murderbot’s interactions with the humans it was rented to protect and its inevitable call to action are endearing and amusing; indeed, the author’s commitment to maintaining Murderbot’s genderlessness, cynicism, and well conceived insecurities was what kept me reading through to the satisfying conclusion in one sitting. Great fun!
  • Wish There Were More Good Novellas

    By Bubba Bill Jones
    This popped on my radar when I heard it won the Hugo, Nebula, and Lotus. I decided to give it a read and was not disappointed. The protagonist is wonderful to meet and a great character with fantastic internal dialogue. The internal dialogue and the way his perspective is told puts you into this strange individual’s shoes and I enjoyed the ride.
  • Pinocchio meets the future

    By rokinrev
    This short book has the potential to live up to all the hype that preceded it’s original release. A Security Unit humanoid-robot has developed the ability to override its governor protocol and instead of killing everyone, begins to tap ethical protocols and to “think” for itself, discovering that the company who made it wasn’t as neutral as it claimed to be. Having destroyed its previous “renters”, it calls itself “Murderbot” and in the beginning it really is a snarky self concerned little ...snit. However, as it begins to interact with the humans working with it, it begins to care...and then things get really interesting. This was fascinating and I’m off to reserve the next in the series. Highly recommended. 5/5
  • Good story

    By 32778942
    It’s a good story, however the price is a little presumptuous. $10 for less than 200 pages? Maybe, but the way the book ended seemed incomplete. I was so disappointed by the way murderbot blanked out the rest of the story and the time jumped to a point long after the beacon launched. I am having trouble justifying spending another $10 to find out what happens to murderbot.
  • Way Overated

    By Ryuku San
    Reading the reviews I went for it and read All Systems Red, the first book in the Murderbot series. My first impression, and I don't mean to be rude was "Really?". Let me expand on that. This is the story of a security bot that protects a group of explorers. The unit is a rental from "The Company" as is most of the explorers equipment. After a previous incident, briefly described in the novelette, Murderbot -that's what he calls himself- hacked its own "governor", a device that overrides all other commands and makes him obedient. So he's basically just following orders to hide that fact. I wont go into plot details, since I don't want to spoil it for those who decide to read it. What bothers me -a lot- about this story is the fact that "Murderbot" could also be a trained security guard, a soldier, an ex-marine even Indiana Jones. In other words: everything about him is completely human, except for the fact that he wears armor (to cover his human like body and face) and has weapons concealed inside his body. There's no difference between his psyche and that of a human. So the entire time it felt like I was reading a Sci Fi novel about a regular guy fighting the good fight. The story in itself is nothing new, I might even go as far as to call it derivative. You've read it a dozen times: bad guys want to take over an exploration site (a planet in this scenario), good guys relay on trained-for-combat guy, trained-for-combat guy defeats bad guys with wit and weapons. That's it. Yes, Murderbot can download entire series and watch them, control small drones at a distance and review footage and information of said drones in seconds, but so can his human companions, one of them an augmented human. The only novelty this novelette has to offer is the fact that the human hero is a robot hero. Alas a robot hero that is way too human, he suffers from social anxiety, he lies, he rather be somewhere else watching TV series, he wonders about his place in the universe, he wants to be free, etc., etc., ad nauseam, ad infinitum. I'm mainly disappointed by the fact that the novelette won both a Hugo an a Nebula Award. So back to my initial comment "Really?". My most sincere apologies to the autor and the readers who enjoyed All Systems Red. This is, after all, my opinion, and an opinion is not a fact.
  • Entertaining

    By R.E. g.
    This was really good! Great job author person!