October 10, 2021

CurledMark

curled up on the sofa

This is Feel-good science fiction. Bad things happen and of course, injustice exists. And yet, the world is a most beautiful and good place. Bad people exist, but people, in general, are mostly nice and almost always interesting. THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET is a truly heart-warming novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET

Becky Chambers is a science fiction author based in Northern California. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning Wayfarers series, which currently includes The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed and Common

Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few. Her books have also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Locus Award, and the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

INSIGHTS ABOUT THE STORY

@ The aliens are strange, but so are the humans.

Human culture is as interesting as alien cultures. Human culture has actually been shaped by history. For example, the culture of the Exodus Fleet has a pacifistic streak, which has formed Ashby’s strong aversion to weapons.

There’s also the fact that humans don’t have one unified culture – there are differences between Mars and the

Exodus Fleet, as well as differences based on class and where you grew up.

@ Everyone isn’t white and straight.

The book has a setting where most humans are people of color and where non-straight relationships really aren’t a big deal.

THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET

@Great characters.

This is a character-driven story. Every crew member matters and is made interesting and memorable. This isn’t a story about the Chosen One saving the galaxy. This is the story of the crew on a ship that builds traffic routes. Sure, they’re a rather unique bunch, but ultimately there are a lot of ships like theirs and a lot of equally interesting destinies in the galaxy.

@ Great female characters.

The awesome pilot, the smart but inexperienced clerk, and the mechanic spreads joy around her and keeps the ship from exploding. The captain’s love interest, who is the captain of a military freight ship and has more scars than her boyfriend. The many women mentioned in passing who have agency and are out there doing things. All are superwomen.

ROSEMARY HARPER in THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET

Rosemary Harper signs on as a certified clerk to the small spaceship Wayfarer, whose multi-species crew builds small hyperspace tunnels through navigable space. She wants a fresh start to get away from her secret past, and this looks ideal. But then the Wayfarer is offered a big job: to build a long hyperspace tunnel from a newly joined member of the Galactic Commons.

The job is valuable, but it will involve a long trip to the starting point. The contract will allow them to move their tunneling operation into the big league, so they snap it up. But the long trip will expose everyone’s secrets.

The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.

HOW DID THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET END?

The team arrives at Hedra Ka. It’s going okay until Rosemary airs her concerns about the species, and then the Wayfarer is attacked when they’re about to start tunneling. The GC requests an incident report.
Lovey was unfortunately killed in the blast and Kizzy and Jenks have to give her a hard reset. Lovey is gone and replaced by Lovelace.

Corbin injects Ohan with the anti-viral stuff. Ashby is very angry with him but Corbin still thinks this was the right thing to do. Ohan starts to spend more time with Corbin and slowly starts to heal. He joins the crew for dinner.

Pepper asks Lovelace if she wants to use the bodysuit, both for her own benefit and also so Jenks isn’t so sad. Lovelace agrees and the Wayfarer gets a new AI.

Rosemary and Sissix go on a spacewalk together. That’s how the story of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet ended.

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