Network Effect by Martha Wells 📚

If you are a follower of the Murderbot Diaries then you have already read the latest addition to the canon. If not, I suggest that you sample the original novella length installments, beginning with All Systems Red et cetera. Those bagatelles are comfort reading for the jaded SF aficionado, abounding with self referential genre tropes, and this newest entry is more of the same, the novel length allowing more of what makes Murderbot so endearing: the humans are ciphers, the artificial intelligences are heroes, and there is a great deal of action, gunplay, and binging on interstellar telenovelas.

Along the way we reflect on what it means to be human, the importance of found families, and how an artificial person (and Murderbot is most certainly people) who lacks the basic social skills of a toddler can still be so profoundly connected to basic anthropomorphic emotions. And yet I have to wonder if the longer format really adds to the mythos more than another novella would have done, and I wonder if we could perhaps have been just as satisfied, if not more, with a shorter format. And perhaps Ms. Wells would agree, as a prequel novella is planned for next year.

I still recommend the book, but then you’ve already read it, haven’t you?

Network Effect