A Review of Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells
Fugitive Telemetry is not the best book in the Murderbot Diaries series. Fans of Murderbot will not care; they get to spend more time with Murderbot! Let me say it again- Murderbot! The funnest, murderiest, nicest robot in the universe, even with the anxiety disorder and the aversion to human feelings of all kinds.
When I discovered last week that my public library had a copy of Martha Wells’ newest Murderbot book, I got in my non-robot car and drove over. I looked on the shelf in Science Fiction. It wasn’t there. I looked in General Fiction (because human error, right?). It wasn’t there. I looked in the new books. Nope. Staff Recs? Nuh-uh. I looked on every endcap and display table. Not present. I started to feel more depressed than usual- what to do? Leave the library and deal with my real life? No way, son. So then I did something crazy; I asked the human librarian for help. I said I’m looking for a book called Fugitive Telemetry and it’s not there! She said, “I can’t spell that. Who’s the author?” Happily, she could spell “Wells” and also “Martha.” After asking me if I had looked all of the places I had already looked (yes, lady, I’m taking this very seriously. I love Murderbot.), she found it in the back! And that’s how great the character of Murderbot is. I just finished Fugitive Telemetry and I’m wondering what next? Maybe drive to Martha Wells’ house and ask if she has any chapters finished for the next book and see if she would like for me to come in and proof-read them for her?
Murderbot, aka SecUnit, whom we all came to know first in All Systems Red, is still on Preservation. This time it is working in Preservation Station, and while still providing security for Dr. Mensah, SecUnit is contracting with Station Security to help solve a murder (aka an unusual breach of station security). The plot is not as complex or interesting as usual, and there is less fighting than usual, but all of the most important elements are there: the paranoia about GrayCris agents seeking revenge and imperiling Mensah and friends, the seriousness and ultra-competence of Murderbot when handling all things security, the angst about human emotions. Murderbot fans will enjoy it, non- Murderbot fans will do whatever the heck it is they waste their lives doing, and there it is.
Other helpful reviews:
By Jason Sheehan Review: 'Fugitive Telemetry,' By Martha Wells : NPR
By Kibby Robinson Review: Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells | The Nerd Daily
Q&A with Martha Wells: