In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the galaxy transform themselves.
*FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR*
'Extraordinary . . . A future masterwork' Joanne Harris
At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in sub-zero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to explore neighbouring exoplanets long suspected to harbour life.
Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds fifteen light-years from Earth, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.
PRAISE FOR THE WAYFARERS
'Becky Chambers is a wonder, and I feel better for having her books in my life' JOHN CONNOLLY
'In a word, brilliant' ANDREW CALDECOTT
'A short but fierce ode to humanity and all our reaches and flaws. Unputdownable' NATASHA NGAN
'Outstanding . . . Chambers packs an immense amount of story into a novella worthy of full-length praise' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, Starred Review
'Becky Chambers takes space opera in a whole new and unexpected direction' BEN AARONOVITCH
With technical prowess and outstanding visceral imagery, Chambers (the Wayfarer Series) packs an immense amount of story into a novella worthy of full-length praise. Humans have begun to perfect the process of space exploration at the turn of the 22nd century with the use of somaforming, a technology allowing astronauts to survive under any conditions in the galaxy. With human fragility no longer a concern, astronaut Ariadne O'Neill and her explorer companions are sent to four distant planets. As the voyagers traverse time and change physical forms, the Earth undergoes its own transformation, and Ariadne and her colleagues are forced to confront the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten them. As Ariadne chronicles her missions, her stories raise questions about the ethics of research and beg the reader to empathize with being alone. Using precise language to paint awe-inspiring pictures of the unknown, Chambers offers a troubling, beckoning glimpse into the future of humankind.