Monday, January 24, 2022

Recognizing The Alex Awards With Murderbot

During retreat-in-place week, I read Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells, the most recent in the Murderbot Diaries. I love these books, and Fugitive Telemetry is a particularly good one. It's sort of a police procedural set in Murderbot's scifi world with Murderbot being the lead detective. 

But, you may be thinking, the Murderbot Diaries are adult books, Gail. Do you have a reason for discussing them here in a blog focusing on children's books?

Indeed I do. 

The first Murderbot book, All Systems Red, was an Alex Award winner in 2018. The Alex Awards are for adult titles with special interest for teenagers, and they are announced in January along with the Newbery and Caldecott and a whole slate of other winners. And today is award day for 2022! My Facebook page is covered with ALA award news right now. People were watching the awards live at 9:00 this morning.

As part of my 20th blog anniversary, I was planning to republish my All Systems Red post, anyway, since I've read another book in the series. Today seems to be the perfect day to do it. 

I have purchased All Systems Red for four family members. That's how much I like it. To my knowledge, not one of them has read it. In addition to being clever and witty, these books are almost all novellas. They aren't even that long! What is wrong with people?

Monday, April 16, 2018 A Terrific Alex Award Winner

Somehow I got onto a newsletter a year or two ago, which provides me with some interesting info on books. Earlier this year, I learned on the newsletter about All Systems Red by Martha Wells, one of this year's Alex Award winners. I thought it sounded intriguing, and I was able to get the eBook for a very reasonable price. Cheap, really. You know me. Intriguing. Cheap. I bought that thing.

It is fantastic.

All Systems Red is the first in the Murderbot Diaries, Murderbot being the name an android gives itself, because...Well, isn't it obvious? Murderbot is a security android assigned to a group of scientists doing research on another planet. Its main interest is watching what we'd call soap operas it's downloaded. But when its people are endangered, it focuses on saving them.

I loved this book. As I was reading it, though, I wondered what made this one of the ten Alex winners, "book written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18." But by the time I finished, I got it. Murderbot is trying to understand why it is the way it is. And the humans in the story tend to treat it as a youth.

All Systems Red is a novella, one I purchased in print form for my niece to read during exams. I'm planning to get another copy for a family member short on time. There are three more novellas coming out this year.

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