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Reviews by Contributor: Chambers, Becky (7)

Way Station

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within  (Wayfarers, volume 4)

By Becky Chambers  

9 Jun, 2022

Space Opera That Doesn't Suck


2021’s The Galaxy, and the Ground Within is the fourth and final volume in Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series.

The planet Gora is the galaxy’s Milton, Ontario1; it’s an unremarkable lifeless world save for one thing: convenient location. It’s a well-placed waystation for travellers on their way from one hospitable world to another. 

Ouloo, a Laru, runs the Five-Hop One-Stop on Gora; her small business supplies fuel, housing, food, bathing, and other amenities. She is assisted by her adolescent (by Laru standards) child Tupo. Ouloo’s patrons come and go, their stays brief. At least, their stays are brief until the disaster.

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A Wonder to Behold It Was

A Prayer for The Crown-shy  (Monk and Robot, volume 2)

By Becky Chambers  

24 Feb, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


2022’s A Prayer for The Crown-shy is the second volume in Becky Chamber’s Monk and Robot series. 

Until now, no existing robot has personally experienced human society. Mosscap has set out to rectify this omission. While accompanying the monk Sibling Dex on their rural journeys, the robot enthusiastically embraces the chance to witness human behavior in all its peculiar manifestations. The machine’s curiosity is matched only by its unfamiliarity with social conventions. 

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Some Other Time

A Psalm for the Wild-Built  (Robot and Monk)

By Becky Chambers  

17 Feb, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2021’s A Psalm for the Wild-Built is the first volume of Becky Chambers’ Robot and Monk series.

Although Panga’s only city (named City) is a fine city, it has no crickets. Sibling Dex wants to hear crickets. They leave urban monastic life behind to embrace the way of the tea monk. Learning how to be a proper tea monk will be just one delightful aspect of this new life.

There is, however, the matter of the rogue robots.

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Straight On To Morning

To Be Taught, if Fortunate

By Becky Chambers  

15 Aug, 2019

Miscellaneous Reviews


To Be Taught, if Fortunate is a standalone hard-SF novella from Becky Chambers. 

Flight engineer Ariadne O’Neill and mission specialists Elena Quesada-Cruz, 

Jack Vo, and Chikondi Daka have been dispatched aboard the OCA spacecraft Merian to the red dwarf star Zhenyi (BA-921), just which is a mere fourteen light-years from Sol. 

Faster than light drives do not exist and neither does terraforming. Instead, the explorers must depend on somaforming, a technologically induced metamorphosis that will adapt them to the worlds they visit. 

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Tis The Gift To Be Simple

Record of a Spaceborn Few  (Galactic Commons, volume 3)

By Becky Chambers  

3 Jul, 2018

Special Requests


2018’s Record of a Spaceborn Few is the third volume in Becky Chambers’ Galactic Commons series. 

Having ruined the Earth, humans mined the Earth’s cities and turned them into a vast interstellar fleet. The Exodus Fleet’s design proved surprisingly robust; not only did the fleet survive centuries and light-years, the people riding the ships neither went mad nor devolved into cannibalistic barbarians. The Exodus Fleet was an impressive achievement. Even if the technology involved was hilariously backward by galactic standards. 

If only humans had encountered the galaxy-spanning Galactic Commons (GC) before the Fleet set out, the whole endeavour might have been unnecessary. As it is, the human race was allowed to join the GC as a very junior member, while the aging Fleet was graciously permitted to park itself in an otherwise useless stellar system. 

Where it still orbits. 

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Hide Me in a Hollow Sound

A Closed and Common Orbit  (Wayfarers, volume 2)

By Becky Chambers  

10 Apr, 2017

Special Requests


2016’s Hugo nominee A Closed and Common Orbit is the second novel in Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series.

Forced by circumstance to abandon her life as the mind of a starship, artificial intelligence Lovelace is re-homed in an android body. She adopts a new identity as Sidra. Life in a humanoid shell, tottering precariously on two legs and dealing with complex, unfamiliar social protocols, is challenging. 

She meets Pepper, who is eager to help Sidra learn to cope. Unlike many others, Pepper believes that artificial intelligences are people. Why does Pepper have this peculiar and economically inconvenient belief?

The answer to that lies twenty years in the past.

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Not quite the Traveller novel I was expecting

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers  

1 Feb, 2015

Miscellaneous Reviews


2014’s The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is Becky Chambers debut novel. 

I picked it up because, over on Livejournal, Heron61 said

It’s basically what you’d get if you took Firefly (minus the unfortunate Civil War metaphors) or an average campaign of the Traveller RPG and focused more on interpersonal dynamics and character’s emotional lives, while substantially reducing the level of violence. 

Traveller was the first table top RPG I played extensively and I still remember it fondly. Yes, this book reminds me of Traveller; it even begins with an event that could very well be someone failing their low passage roll [1]. That said, while I see the similarities that Heron61 mentions, I was more strongly reminded of James Tiptree, Jr.‘s short story And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side” … that is, if James Tiptree, Jr. instead of being relentlessly, inexorably depressing, had been a cheerful optimist. The book isn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was a refreshing change of pace.

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