Illustrated by Tommy Arnold.
Murderbot—the sardonic, almost-homicidal, media-loving android created by Martha Wells—has proven to be one of the most popular characters in 21 st century science fiction. Everything that makes this protagonist (it would be wrong to call Murderbot a hero) beloved of fans is on display in Compulsory.
While trying to watch episode 44 of The Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon, Murderbot is—again, what is it with humans?—distracted by something that is technically outside its purview. A miner is suddenly in danger following a pointless (to Murderbot’s way of thinking) argument, and the choice is to risk discovery and leap into action, which would require hitting the pause button during a very exciting part of Sanctuary Moon, or to follow orders and stay still.
This is a tougher choice than it seems. But then, when has Murderbot ever been faced with an easy choice?
A shorter version of this story originally appeared in Wired magazine.
- Martha Wells
- Tommy Arnold
- eBook Edition