Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

TITLEFugitive Telemetry.
SeriesThe Murderbot Diaries #6.
Writer(s)Martha Wells.
FORMAT: Digital Advance Review Copy.
RELEASE DATE: April 27th 2021.
PAGES: 172.
ASIN:  B088H926KF.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells.
Network Effect by Martha Wells.


Sometimes you just have to do things yourself if you want things to be done right. It is so, even if it means doing things that you just don’t ever want to do, like, publicly interacting with humans that not only remind you that you’re a construct made out of cloned human tissue, augments, depression, rage, and deadly weapons, but also a SecUnit that just wants to be left alone with its episodes of The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon instead of having to deal with the oblivious, dramatic, and vulnerable reality of human beings. With the sixth entry in The Murderbot Diaries, writer Martha Wells explores a mysterious death prior to the events in Network Effect that sends our favourite Murderbot on a mission to identify a killer.

What is Fugitive Telemetry about? Discovering a dead agent at the Preservation Station mall where Murderbot has been indulging its new boring and peaceful life alongside its new allies that it doesn’t yet dare call friends, this anomalous murder forces Murderbot’s hands into assisting the station security if it isn’t to fall for a crime it never did. While also serving as an opportunity to connect with fellow comrades, it takes it upon itself to solve this mystery and uncover the truth. While it clearly wishes it could get away from this situation and get back to its soap operas, it, unfortunately, has to figure out how and why this agent was killed, especially if it has anything to do with the evil mega-corporation known as GrayCris, the very company that Dr. Mensas and Murderbot have been trying to escape from.

“All I wanted to do was watch media and not exist.

— Martha Wells

Going all-in with her long-established ingredients for this series, writer Martha Wells doesn’t hesitate or falter to bring out the best elements of her Murderbot to keep readers hooked in this latest installment. With the additional and never-before-seen narrative hook in the form of a murder mystery set in space, she now offers fans the chance to watch Murderbot go through the traditional loops of a whodunnit with the expected brash cynicism and total disinterest in human incompetence that you’ve come to expect for this character. Although the pacing does make the mystery feel a bit drawn-out, the story is filled with entertaining moments that will satisfy avid readers of this series who are very familiar with this character’s adventures, whether it’s through the action-packed sequences filled with cinematic moments or the Murderbot’s internally-voiced breakdown of illogical reasoning by humans that constantly irritates it, especially when facing humans who dismiss SecUnits as nothing more than murder weapons.

With this sixth novella, it is also inevitable that readers will have developed a fondness for the character’s impediment, that of conveying human traits despite craving for a simpler, quieter, and far less interactive life. Like a mother insisting that their child acquaints themselves with the social world, writer Martha Wells sends this Murderbot front and center amidst other humans and bots, compared to the usual necessity for secrecy and stealth, as it tries to solve a mystery before things escalate. Its own identity continues to be a mystery in itself, although clearly showing more similarities to humans than it wants to. In fact, it still tries to understand its own place in the world, attempting to distinguish itself from bots, constructs, bot-guardians, Combatbots, and CombatUnits. Fortunately, it can’t deny any longer that being a lone wolf in this cruel world might not have as many perks as being accompanied by people who care for you.

Fugitive Telemetry is an engaging murder mystery set in space sending Murderbot into a perplexing whodunnit with a stupendous twist.

Thank you Raincoast Books for this advance copy for review!



16 thoughts on “Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

  1. “All I wanted to do was watch media and not exist.”

    I don’t know the proper term to use, but that seems to be the cry of our culture today. It saddens me because it shows how empty, shallow and pointless their lives are 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha that might indeed be something a lot of people wish deep down nowadays. Luckily, this Murderbot still goes out of its way to do the exact opposite of what it wished it could do as it battles that introverted cynism, to the point where it appreciates the more social and thrilling stuff. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was certain you would enjoy this new Murderbot adventure, and it’s true that by now we have indeed developed a fondness for its quirks and tics, so that there would not be a good MB adventure without them 😉
    I like your description of the SecUnit as “”cloned human tissue, augments, depression, rage, and deadly weapons””: it’s just perfect 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there’ve only been a couple times when I felt the need to skip one of your reviews, but this is another one. Not because I think you’ll give anything vital away, but because I just don’t want to know anything going in, other than it’s about Murderbot. I absolutely LOVE Murderbot! And I’m pleased to see you got some real enjoyment out of this one (or at least I assume so based on the rating). I can’t wait to get a copy and read it myself. I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but my enjoyment for this series has me wanting to explore more of Wells’ work. Have you read anything else by her?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha that is indeed rare but I’m definitely glad that we both enjoy this one so much that we wouldn’t dare spoil each other one way or another! I hope you get around to this one soon so you can enjoy it as much as I did, my friend! And no, I haven’t tried anything else by Martha Wells. I honestly haven’t seen or heard anyone talk about her past books too. I’d probably need someone (looks at you) to push me into trying it by going through them first. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A murder mystery set in space? Yes please, count me in! Good to see the series isn’t loosing steam and that Murderbot continues to entertain. No wonder if it has minor existential crisis from time to time though – we all wonder what our place in the world is, but being a human made creation probably makes everything a lot more complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a fun deviation from the other stories, it being a murder mystery this time, I mean! And yes, it’s a common theme throughout these novellas/books and it’s fun to see how it deals with it as it gains experience in all things “human”! Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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