Freed From Its Programming, Martha Wells’ Murderbot Just Wants Some Space

Let’s talk about robots.

Or maybe murderbots.

Martha Wells is an amazing writer, whose work I’ve generally loved since first encountering The Element of Fire. When her novella All Systems Red came out last year from Tor.com Publishing, it was a delight to see Wells turn her considerable talents to original science fiction—space operatic science fiction with a sense of humour and a deep well of kindness. This year will see three sequels published to finish out the series—Artificial Condition is available now, with Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy forthcoming in August and October. I’ve read books two and three, and—not a word of a lie—they’re both really good.

SecUnits are sentient constructs (part machine, part organic, largely human in form and created in part with human tissue) that are owned by companies and used to provide security or protection to humans and/or property as ...