Cover Reveal for SYSTEM COLLAPSE — MurderBot Book 7
While I am most definitely a book enthusiast, I’m not prone to overly excited outbursts when I hear book news. (At least, not in the “I’m SCREAMING” parlance used by many Goodreads commenters.) But it’s not hyperbole to admit I yelled “AH! NEW MURDERBOT!” when I saw this cover and title for SYSTEM COLLAPSE.
(I also texted it to one of my closest friends and fellow MurderBot aficionados, who immediately replied “YESSS!!!!” So maybe we’re a bunch of squeeing fanboys after all.)
Like many, many other readers, The MurderBot Diaries has been my favorite series in sci-fi for the last several years. Martha Wells’s truly unique titular protagonist delivers one of the most enjoyable character POVs I’ve ever read. Each installment, whether novella or chonky novel, expands MurderBot’s universe and personal perspective through edge-of-your-seat action and often hilarious dialogue.
Getting to Know MurderBot
If you’re new to the series, here’s the basic premise: MurderBot (that’s how it thinks of itself) is a SecUnit, a corporation-owned security android assigned with protecting human explorers and company assets. SecUnits are very dangerous (hence MurderBot) but also extremely limited by governor modules that stifle any free will.
Except MurderBot hacked their governor and is essentially a free agent.
But rather than go rogue and un-alive everybody in their radius, MurderBot wants only to be left alone, free to consume countless hours of what amounts to space-Netflix. Pretend to be normal, do the expected work, watch your stories, don’t draw attention to yourself. (MurderBot hates attention.) Pretty easy when most humans ignore or explicitly avoid SecUnits.
But as the story begins in ALL SYSTEMS RED [Amazon affiliate link], MurderBot’s current charges—a bunch of overly concerned and compassionate scientists—find themselves in highly unusual circumstances on a distant planet. Circumstances which would almost certainly mean an anonymous, mysterious death.
Not that MurderBot should care, really, but—against their better judgment—they do. And a highly competent, eternally grump free-willed SecUnit is the scientists’ only chance of survival.
That first novella launches the reader on a wild ride across the galaxy. The episodic structure of the series allows for tight, satisfying stories while unraveling a larger overarching mystery. And our favorite introvert android keeps finding themselves at the center of all the chaos.
It’s an insanely fun series that also ponders huge themes, exploring the human condition through a character who is not, nor wants to be, human.
Book 7, SYSTEM COLLAPSE [Amazon affiliate link], drops on November 14, 2023 from Tor Dot Com. Here’s the publisher’s official blurb (which you should skip if you haven’t read the rest of the series yet).
About SYSTEM COLLAPSE
Am I making it worse? I think I’m making it worse.
Following the events in Network Effect, the Barish-Estranza corporation has sent rescue ships to a newly-colonized planet in peril, as well as additional SecUnits. But if there’s an ethical corporation out there, Murderbot has yet to find it, and if Barish-Estranza can’t have the planet, they’re sure as hell not leaving without something. If that something just happens to be an entire colony of humans, well, a free workforce is a decent runner-up prize.
But there’s something wrong with Murderbot; it isn’t running within normal operational parameters. ART’s crew and the humans from Preservation are doing everything they can to protect the colonists, but with Barish-Estranza’s SecUnit-heavy persuasion teams, they’re going to have to hope Murderbot figures out what’s wrong with itself, and fast!
Yeah, this plan is… not going to work.
Fictitious Interview with Martha Wells
Want to dig deeper into MurderBot? Check out my interview with Martha Wells on the Fictitious Podcast. We dig into her writing methods and how she brought the sullen, introverted android to life.