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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells (reviewed by Caitlin Grieve)

Pre-order Fugitive Telemetry over HERE
Read Caitlin's review of Network Effect

has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-in fiction for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in twenty languages.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body in the station mall.

When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people―who knew?)

Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!


FORMAT/INFO: Fugitive Telemetry will be published on April 27th, 2021 by Tordotcom. It is 176 pages split over eight chapters. It is told in first person from Murderbot's POV. It is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Murderbot has finally settled down to a quiet life on Preservation Station. Well, as quiet as life can be when a corporation might come looking to kill you and all your friends for revenge about spilling a bunch of its secrets. Okay, so maybe Murderbot is still a little paranoid. But when a dead body is found in a hallway, Murderbot finds itself dragged into the investigation. After all, this might be a random killing, but what if the GreyCris corporation is finally showing up to eliminate Murderbot once and for all?

I have been excited for this book since I heard the premise: Murderbot solves a murder. What could be more delightful than that? And I’m happy to report that Fugitive Telemetry is as delightful as I had hoped. One aspect that certainly helped is that this book is possibly the most comfortable we’ve ever seen Murderbot with their life – if “comfortable” is a word you could ever apply to Murderbot. There’s a throwaway line from Murderbot discussing how it had been sitting against someone’s desk having a conversation with them, and it filled my heart with joy. Book one Murderbot would have stayed against a way and spoken to no one, not casually leaned against furniture. They’ve found people they trust and WANT to protect, not because it’s a job, but because those people are important to them. Murderbot has truly found their family, and it’s wonderful.

I also appreciated the return to the novella format. While Network Effect was a great, action-packed tale, I thoroughly enjoy the bite-sized adventures that make up most of The Murderbot Diaries. It’s so nice to snuggle up on the couch for an afternoon or two and spend time with my favorite grumpy introvert.

As for the plot this adventure, it’s just a good old-fashioned murder mystery – IN SPACE. Preservation Station is a relatively conflict-free zone, so when a dead body is found, it’s definitely cause for alarm. And since Murderbot is a former security unity (who also wants to make sure nobody’s going to murder the specific humans under its protection), they get put on the case. There’s a bit of the “grouchy police captain has to put up with unusual consultant” trope running through here, but it works so well because Murderbot…really doesn’t care. They want to solve the murder and go back to their drama programs.

In short, if you’ve enjoyed any of the other Murderbot books, you’re going to love this one. Murderbot is in top form and if it wants to keep solving weird murders in space for the rest of its life, I will be there for each and every one.

NOTE: This review was originally posted on Realms Of My Mind.



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