For their 100th episode, Danielle and Sam are joined by their friend Jim who shares the first book of the The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, the 2017 novel All Systems Red. In the dystopian future, The Company is the major monopoly in the universe. Survey teams exploring worlds are contracted by The Company which also supplies at least one security unit robot for each team. One of these SecUnits has hacked its own governor to give itself free will and named itself Murderbot, and it has decided to use its new freedom to binge-watch soap operas and generally avoid people. Also, while Murderbot is called a robot, it’s more of an human-looking android, possibly made from a corpse? It’s unclear. Muderbot also has a dark history from before it hacked itself where it was accidentally ordered to murder its entire survey team. Murderbot’s current assignment is a survey team of space hippies, and they eventually encounter another evil sabotaging survey team that isn’t authorized to be on the planet and is undermining the space hippies for reasons that are largely irrelevant. The EvilSurvey team has been hacking other SecUnits using syringe darts (no idea how that works), which Sam thinks just shows that fleshy, human-like security robots are a bad idea. Murderbot is already hacked, so the dart has no effect on them, but eventually Murderbot fakes being hacked to infiltrate the EvilSurvey team in a plan so convoluted it can only be described as parody. Sam and Danielle do their best to follow a plot that seems almost perfunctory in a story that largely takes place in the mind of an antisocial robot and that is steeped in satire and Jim does an admirable job in the face of Danielle and Sam’s goofy incompetence. So join us for our 100th episode where we’ve come a long way, but are still just as weird as ever!
This week Sam shares the insanity that is the 1991 movie Highlander II: The Quickening, and to deal with it Danielle calls for backup in the form of Emily from I Drink Your Podcast. In the year 2024 the world has been encased in a shield to protect Earth from the intense rays of the sun now able to ravage to planet due the destruction of the ozone layer. For some reason, Connor MacLeod, now mortal and old beyond his years, was involved in the creation of the shield. How exactly his previous career as a sword wielding immortal translates to large scale engineering projects is a question beyond answer. It’s also revealed that Connor is from the past, or an alien from another planet depending on if you watch the director’s cut of the film, and was sent to the future/Earth with the other immortals as punishment for their participation in a rebellion against Michael Ironside as their evil ruler General Katana. All that crazy is before Sam even gets to the plot (such as it is) or the resurrection of Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, played by Sean Connery. About the only thing this sequel seems to retain from the first film is the baffling accent choices, so dive in as we discover there can be only one…again.
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This week special guest Marci, of the Colored Pages Bookclub podcast, brings M.K. England’s young adult space adventure novel The Disasters to share with Danielle and Sam. Immediately after being expelled from a moon-based space academy, self-hating hot-shot pilot Nax Hall and his friends find the academy under attack by mysterious forces. Making their escape to the space colonies to hide, they slowly uncover a sinister plot by an extremely well-branded terrorist organization to wipe out the settlements. While that’s pretty terrible, Sam and Danielle are much more preoccupied with the unexpected appearance of space goats and their differing opinions on love triangles. Nonetheless, our hapless adventurers set out to foil the evil plan, and boy are we glad they didn’t skip leg day.
Check out the Colored Pages Book Club podcast on Instagram @TheseColoredPages and Twitter @TheColoredPages, and listen on Stitcher, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.