This article explores how readers have responded to the Martha Wells series The Murderbot Diaries by identifying the titular character as neurodivergent and the recent ways in which the author has responded to questions about the character—and herself—as potentially autistic. While initially resisting this reader-supplied diagnosis, Wells has more recently acknowledged a neurodivergent identity. By examining Murderbot’s sense of self and relationship with the humans around it, this article will explore our current society’s relationship with human/machine intelligences and how we define such concepts as “neurotypical” and “human.” Specifically, this article will examine how the concept of a “governor module” can be mapped onto the autistic experience of masking. By examining the ways in which Wells portrays Murderbot as an AI/cyborg who shares many traits with autistic people, we can see why this series gets such rave reviews from the neurodivergent readership community.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License