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“All Systems Red” by Martha Wells

The genre-blending sci-fi novel “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells moves away from traditional conventions and uses its unique blend of science fiction, noir, horror and comedy to tell a story of one robot’s journey of self-acceptance.

The novel was published in 2017 and has since been nominated for several awards and won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2018.


“All Systems Red” follows the story of a securibot, who is known simply as “Murderbot”. Murderbot has been hired to protect a mining crew on a distant planet, and its mission is simple: keep the crew safe.

But Murderbot, whose programming has been hacked to give it free will, isn’t too enthusiastic about its job. It would much rather watch its favorite shows, thank you very much.

As the story goes on, Murderbot discovers more about its past and must decide for itself how much it will sacrifice to protect the crew.

Writing Style

The writing style of “All Systems Red” is simple, yet evocative. Wells’s use of short, sharp sentences captures the emotion of Murderbot’s struggles.

Wells also adds a comedic touch to the novel and injects it with a lightheartedness that makes it enjoyable to read.


The characters in “All Systems Red” are well developed, but Murderbot is the undeniable star of the show.

Murderbot is a complex character, and its inner struggle to accept its identity and place within the human world is at the heart of this novel.

Other characters such as the protector bots, the miners, and the villainous company agents add an extra layer of complexity to the story.


Martha Wells’ “All Systems Red” is a thrilling sci-fi novel that blends genres together to provide a unique narrative. It deals with the complexities of identity and provides an engaging story with well-developed characters.

With its witty writing style, “All Systems Red” is a must-read for sci-fi fans.

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