Spoiler: it’s not Earth.
Taken from GoodReads
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Surprisingly this came as a recommendation from my mother who is very rarely into SF and she gave me her copy to read after she was done. It took me a while to feel ‘in the mood’ for SF and I eventually picked it up earlier this year (2019) and I absolutely adored it.
It made me think, it made me tear-up, it made me smile, it made me tense and I love the character-driven nature of it all. This is not your average ‘jump in the spaceship and go to war’ sort of SF and it is all the better for it. This is a story about people and it happens to be in space. Gorgeous, interesting people with actual relationships that I really invested in.
I found the inclusion of gender-variance and the exploration of self-hood very natural and not shoe-horned at all. The depiction of the different races’ values and customs was well done and highlights where so much other SF is lacking. Chambers seems to have a mind much like my own in realising SF shouldn’t be so human-centric. We shouldn’t assume alien races would even want to know us let alone change their entire culture to accommodate us should we ever reach the stars.
It doesn’t hurt that the cover art for all three of the series is very tasty and I ordered A Closed and Common Orbit immediately after finishing this one and I cannot wait to get started. Even if you are not a sci-fi person normally (like my mum), this is still well worth your time. It is an enlightening, inspirational and genuine pleasure to read.
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