Whereas the latter is (almost) purely humorous, though, “The Murderbot Diaries” deliver on several levels:
– They most certainly are funny. Usually not the over-the-top thigh-slapper kind of funny but there’s always a bit of melancholy around the corner. Or the humour is laced with mild regret.
– While I have no clue who “NPR” is, I agree with him that “We are all a little bit Murderbot.“. At least we would like to be. Or maybe even strive to. Because Murderbot, in its ethics and morals, actually surpasses quite a few of us. (Unfortunately, if this applies to you, you won’t notice…) (Or because it can just download from entertainment feeds without worrying and binge-watch stuff that sounds truly cool. 😉 )
– Last but not least, Murderbot appeals to my inner nerd: A SecUnit! Super-human strength, reflexes, built-in weapons, travelling space (while binge-watching!), searching for meaning, for what it wants to do – who could resist?
– It’s exciting and you know what’s going to happen when Murderbot simplay states “I shut my risk assessment module down.”
Despite all the challenges it faces (battles, almost wiping itself out, etc.), the truly difficult situations are (seemingly) handled with ease: “I had a complex emotional reaction.”
The novelty has worn off by now, of course, but the thrill of something new, exciting and wonderful has been replaced by recognition, trust in a positive outcome and a feeling like coming home.
I wouldn’t go as far as Ann Leckie (“I love Murderbot!”; although, re-reading the previous paragraph… 😉 ) but Martha Wells and her Murderbot actually changed my mind about the entire Science Fiction genre (was: Staring elsewhere and hoping it goes away on its own; is: “Hm… Maybe there’s more like this?”) and – as whoever knows me will attest to – changing my mind borders on the Herculean efforts… 😉