I’ve abandoned three books this August, which is an unusually high number for me. But almost immediately after I decided to give up on the third book, I got an email from the library saying that my hold for the ebook of the latest Murderbot novella had just come in. What good timing!
This book finds Murderbot back on Preservation Station and annoyed about the lax security and generally just wanting to keep to itself, do its job looking after Dr. Mensah, head of Preservation, and watch its shows. But then a dead body turns up, and Murderbot is asked to help investigate, much to the annoyance of Indah, the station’s chief security officer. But the two figure out a way to work together.
As usual, Murderbot is full of awkwardness at figuring out how to deal with people, but it is very good at understanding tech. So there might be subtleties in how bots communicate that Murderbot would pick up on while not necessarily understanding aspects of human behavior that aren’t represented on its shows. It was fun to see how Murderbot’s specific skills were really useful for following clues. And, of course, its resigned attitude of being willing to help even if it doesn’t want to is always there. (I think it’s pretty clear Murderbot really does want to help, just not to admit it just yet.)
I’m glad that, with Fugitive Telemetry, Martha Wells has returned to novellas for Murderbot. It was just the right length and the right level of complexity in the plot. Just enough and just right.