Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

Rating: 5 out of 5.

No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.

When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people—who knew?)

Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!


Thank you to Tor Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Fugitive Telemetry was released on April 27, 2021. 

Please note that this review contains spoilers for the previous books in the Murderbot Diaries. Read my review of All Systems RedArtificial ConditionRogue Protocol and Exit Strategy.

I was so excited when Fugitive Telemetry was announced last year that I immediately preordered it. I also think I literally screamed when I got an email saying I’d been somehow approved for an ARC.

Fugitive Telemetry is set chronologically between Exit Strategy and Network Effect. I highly recommend reading it before Network Effect if you’re new to the series or rereading. I kinda wish Fugitive Telemetry had been published first because it answers a number of questions I had the first time I read Network Effect.

The fiasco with GrayCris is largely over, though Dr. Mensah and Murderbot are still expecting a final attack in retaliation. So when a body shows up in the mall at Preservation Station, that’s what Murderbot expects. Only none of the details make sense and Station Security is being a pain to work with.

Murderbot has spent the past four novellas either pretending to be an augmented human or on the run as a rogue SecUnit. Only now it would like to stay on Preservation Station with Dr. Mensah, and that requires interacting with other humans who know it’s a SecUnit and don’t want it on the Station. It’s one thing when a rogue SecUnit saves your planetary leader. It’s another to let it live among humans.

This is a murder mystery story, but is also a tale of connection and learning to work with other people you don’t like. This is both from Murderbot’s perspective, but also shown in the transformation of attitudes of Station personnel as they work together to find the murderer. By the end of the novella, we’re left with a satisfying conclusion and the possibility of another story at a later date.

This is a trademark of the Murderbot Diaries and something I love about how Wells has structured these novellas. The main plot is always resolved, but there’s some little opportunities left for a future book. I’m super excited to see what other future mysteries Murderbot and Station Security have to work together to solve.

Goodreads | Bookshop.org

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About the Author

Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-in fiction for Star WarsStargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, two Locus Awards, and her work has appeared on the Philip K. Dick Award ballot, the BSFA Award ballot, the USA Today Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List. Her books have been published in twenty languages.

You can find her at marthawells.com or on Twitter at @marthawells1.

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