Jul 182018

I have thinks (and significant feels) about Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. Before the review, some scene setting:

A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a fun adventure story about finding yourself, love, and loss, and it introduces you to the Wayfarer universe, which is diverse and fun and interesting.

A Closed and Common Orbit is about who gets to be people: slaves, weirdoes, machines, or everyone.

100 words on Record of a Spaceborn Few

We come to Record of a Spaceborn Few, which takes place in the same universe on a fleet of generation ships. Humanity has spread to the stars (joining the galactic civilisation along the way) and a few scattered remnants choose life on their ships having reached no destination, orbiting a sun without planets. Chambers twists yet again, telling a small story of a few lives which is, in the grandest traditions of science fiction, completely different and disconnected from earlier Wayfarers books. It’s about what it means to be humanity, to be a community, and to find purpose and belonging.

Jan 262017


A Closed and Common Orbit is a love letter to anyone who’s ever felt awkward, out of place, didn’t know what to say, or didn’t feel quite human. Chambers weaves two parallel stories, twenty years apart, into a gripping, wonderful story posing the questions (and daring you to answer differently) what it means to be sentient and whether or not your feelings – silicon, engineered, or womb-born – have the right to exist. It’s yet another enjoyable romp that isn’t afraid to grapple with big important things without beating you over the head with them – and makes it look effortless. More, please.

Feb 272015

The Kitschies‘ first self-published shortlisted book, and a debut to boot. Chambers had put together a fun, silly space opera that’ll keep you up at night reading by the light of your Kindle (if not by a torch under the duvet), and this is how you should read this book: like you’re young again, and getting away with reading it, when you should be reading The Scarlet Letter. Not that it’s poorly written, or whimsical: it grapples with the politics of empire, sexuality, racism (and species-ism), class, and gender – it’s a story of someone trying to choose their own destiny.