The sixth Murderbot story, a novella.

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Publication year: 2021

Format: Audio

Running time: 4 hours, 24 minutes
Narrator: Kevin R. Free

Publisher: Tor

This story is set before the first Murderbot book, “Network Effect”. I recommend reading at least “All Systems Red” before this one.

Doctor Mensah, and therefore the Murderbot, are on the Preservation Station, a small space station in the most benign power in this SF universe, the Preservation Alliance. Very powerful corporation GrayCris is after Mensah and the Murderbot needs to keep her safe. The station isn’t free of crime, but the security forces mostly deals with thieves and swindlers. So, when a dead human body is found, Doctor Mensah thinks it’s a good idea for Murderbot to become a security consultant at the station. Murderbot wants to know if GrayCris is somehow involved so it agrees. Reluctantly because it would rather watch its favorite shows.

Senior Security Officer Indah isn’t happy about a rogue SecUnit running around and interfering with the investigation. Some of the other humans are straight out afraid of Murderbot. Now they all need to work together to find out who the victim was, why they were killed, and who killed them.

This was an excellent continuation of the series. Our hero is just as cynical and hilarious as usual. The humans’ reactions to it aren’t funny, but the Murderbot’s inner monologue about them is very funny. I enjoyed the story just as much as the previous ones.

Quotes:

“The full station threat assessment for murder was sitting at a baseline 7 percent. (To make it drop lower than that we’d have to be on an uninhabited planet.) (I’ve never been on a contract on an uninhabited planet because if I was on the planet on a contract then we’d be inhabiting it.)”

“I had archives of everything that had happened since I hacked my governor module, but I hadn’t had as much relevant experience in that time. But what I did have were thousands of hours of category mystery media, so I had a lot of theoretical knowledge that was possibly anywhere from 60 to 70 percent inaccurate shit.”