Short fiction

Blogs about short fiction: short stories and novelettes.

The novella “Exit Strategy” by Martha Wells was published for the first time in 2018. It’s the fourth work of “The Murderbot Diaries” series and follows “Rogue Protocol”.

When the spaceship taken by Murderbot is arriving at its destination, it’s rerouted towards the security area. SecUnit realizes that they’re looking for it and it’s forced to sneak out of the spaceship to prevent the heavily armed security forces from finding it.

Murderbot quickly discovers that Dr. Mensah was accused of corporate espionage by GrayCris and disappeared. Suspecting a kidnapping, it contacts her team, knowing full well that they know its identity and therefore that it’s a SecUnit.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone

The novella “This is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone was published for the first time in 2019. It won the Hugo, Nebula, and BSFA Awards as the best novella of the year.

When Red, an agent of the Commandant’s team, finds a message from Blue, a rival in the Time War, she gets intrigued despite knowing that it might be hiding a trap. She decides to respond and this leads to an exchange of messages that begins with mutual teasing and challenges and becomes something else.

Red and Blue find a mutual understanding that deepens their bond even though the Agency and the Garden are enemies. This prevents them from meeting in person and actually makes even exchanging messages dangerous, yet this doesn’t stop their feelings.

The novella “Rogue Protocol” by Martha Wells was published for the first time in 2018. It’s the third work of “The Murderbot Diaries” series and follows “Artificial Condition”.

Murderbot sees an interview with Dr. Mensah connected to GrayCris’ possible illegal activities and thinks it might find evidence in the terraforming installation around the planet Milu. Its journey is quite tiring because it always has to hide its identity and that’s also true once it arrives at its destination.

A team of humans led by Don Abene is on the installation to assess its status as part of the takeover process by another company. Murderbot decides to secretly follow them but must communicate with Miki, a robot who assists Don Abene’s team. The situation soon becomes complicated.

The novella “Artificial Condition” by Martha Wells was published for the first time in 2018. It won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards as the best novella of the year. It’s the second work of “The Murderbot Diaries” series and follows “All Systems Red”.

Murderbot is looking for crucial information to understand its past and to reach the place where it can conduct its investigation, it embarks on a cargo spaceship that has no human crew but is piloted by a powerful artificial intelligence. During the voyage, some exchanges with it lead to it being nicknamed the ART (Asshole Research Transport). Despite this, the two of them begin a collaboration.

Once it reached its destination, Murderbot finds a job as a security consultant for some scientists who carried out work on behalf of a company which then severed the relationship and kept the results obtained. Soon, it realizes that the company’s owner is ready to do anything to get rid of the scientist.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (Italian edition)

The novella “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells was published for the first time in 2017. It won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards as the best novella of the year. It’s the first work of “The Murderbot Diaries” series.

Murderbot is the self-given name of the SecUnit that managed to hack its own control program which normally keeps it under the command of human beings. It would rather watch soap operas than protect the clients it’s assigned but what is supposed to be a scientific expedition requires its intervention.

When Murderbot must rescue a member of the scientific exploration team, it discovers that parts of the available maps have been erased. Faults and problems pile up in an increasingly suspicious manner and Murderbot independently decides to protect its clients.