I collect Funko Pops. I’ve always been a big collector so no surprise there. A few of them have gotten into some of the photos I’ve shared, and I’d be happy to show off more if anyone is interested.
Last year, as I finished off Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries novellas, I thought to myself how cool it would be to have a Murderbot on my shelf. I watched a few tutorials about removing heads, found two Pops to combine (Valerian for the body and Ana for the helmet) and with the help of my fiancé learnt how to paint. Then I abandoned the project for about a year.
Last month I listened to the fifth instalment of the Murderbot Series, the novel Network Effect. I’ll do a brief review at the end of the post, but let’s just say if you’ve kept up with the series so far, you’ll love this new novel.
Returning to the world of Murderbot gave me the push to finish the figure. It felt so satisfying to put the head on the body. Of course, the neck stub didn’t fit properly into the new head, hence the experimentation with capes and scarves. I doubt Murderbot would appreciate such additions to SecUnit armour, but I think it looks cool. I’m thinking I could also use the fabric to secure some wire to the model and add some drones. Maybe next year when the next novel in the series, Fugitive Telemetry, comes out and makes me want more Murderbot.
Here are pictures of Murderbot from different angels. I didn’t do any sculpting or modifications to the base Pops, save for cutting off the end of Ana’s sniper rifle and gluing it to Murderbot’s arm to serve as one of the energy weapons built into it’s arms. Couldn’t find any art of these handguns in use, so no idea how they’d actually look coming out of the armour, but I feel proud of myself for adding a bit more to the figure.
After my first go at painting, I thought about adding made-up corporate logos to the armour. I’m glad I didn’t, since I discovered in Network Effect that Murderbot hates logos and that the company that used to own it isn’t simply called capital C The Company, but that is just Murderbot censoring the name.
This was a fun project, but not something I’d do very often. Though, I will admit that making custom Gideon Nav from Gideon the Ninth sounds really cool.
Now, about Network Effect.
Amazing book. I was concerned how the humour and action that worked so well in the novellas would hold up stretched across a much longer story, but no need to worry, this book is just as enjoyable the whole way through. Plus, Murderbot gets more time to explore it’s relationships and ponder what kind of life it wants to live now that it is free.
The book starts with Murderbot working security for humans like normal, except now they are open about being a rogue SecUnit. Or, Rogue Killer Cyborg if you prefer. The mission is wrapped up, and then the team gets attacked and kidnapped. Right from the start there is a lot of action. The books are told from Murderbot’s first person perspective, which gets crazy, because Murderbot has drones and a lot more processing power than humans, so it can see and do multiple things at once. Describing the action from the point of view of such a character could have been a mess, but Wells handles it perfectly.It helps that the story is presented as a sort of journal entry, so Murderbot explains everything that happens with a high level of sarcasm and annoyance.
I loved that ART, the Asshole Research Transport from Artificial Condition, is back. ART is more advanced than Murderbot, possibly just as illegal as it, and even more sarcastic and mean. I loved their relation in Artificial Condition, and I loved that it was further developed here, but with their own respective human crews/clients thrown in the mix.
If you’ve read the rest of the Murderbot Diaries, this is just a bigger version of the previous novellas. If you haven’t, then I think jumping in here and following along with the story should be possible, but you’d be missing out on a lot of worldbuilding, a lot of Murderbot’s personal development, and the true context of Murderbot and ART’s relationship going into the story. It should still be a fun ride though, and key story points from the previous books that have any bearing on this story are explained.
In conclusion, the book and character are great, and I’m glad I made my own merch. I hope you enjoyed my little art project.