*FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR AND HUGO AWARD WINNER FOR BEST SERIES*
The stunning finale to the award-winning Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers, author of the beloved The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.
When a freak technological failure halts traffic to and from the planet Gora, three strangers are thrown together unexpectedly, with seemingly nothing to do but wait.
Pei is a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, torn between her duty to her people, and her duty to herself.
Roveg is an exiled artist, with a deeply urgent, and longed for, family appointment to keep.
Speaker has never been far from her twin but now must endure the unendurable: separation.
Under the care of Ouloo, an enterprising alien, and Tupo, her occasionally helpful child, the trio are compelled to confront where they've been, where they might go, and what they might be to one another.
Together they will discover that even in the vastness of space, they're not alone.
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 quietly profound, humane tour de force' GUARDIAN
'Chambers is simply an exceptional talent' TOR.COM
'Becky Chambers takes space opera in a whole new and unexpected direction' BEN AARONOVITCH
Chambers concludes her Wayfarers series (after Record of a Spaceborn Few) with this delightful, cozy novel of cross-species alien interaction. Ouloo, a furry Laru, conscientiously serves all her customers at the Five-Hop One Stop on the lifeless galactic way station of Gora while raising her moody adolescent child, Tupo. A satellite crash knocks out communication and delays departures just after three separate aliens arrive on Gora. Pei Tem, a scaled, cargo-running Aeluon, grows frustrated that she won't make her rendezvous with her secret human lover. Roveg, an exiled arthropodlike Quelin, frets about missing a mysterious but vital appointment. And Speaker, a methane-breathing Akarak, worries about her weak-lunged twin sister, Tracker, who is still on their ship in orbit. As official statements continually push off the all-clear, the stranded group gets to know each other in fascinating, mostly congenial conversations. But things take a turn for the worse when Pei enters her once-in-a-lifetime "shimmering" stage of fertility and picks a drunken fight with Speaker and their argument distracts everybody from noticing a crisis. There are some real moments of anxiety to keep the pages turning, but the highlights are the characters' meaty debates and Chambers's delightful exploration of cultural difference. Devoted fans and newcomers alike will thrill to this imaginative sci-fi confection.
A heartwarming tale of camaraderie and hospitality in the face of adversity. I’d love to visit the Five-Hop myself some day.
I love this…so much.
When I finished the last page of this novel and realised it was the last in this series, I burst into tears because it was over. I have loved every stage of this journey.
Chambers’ ability to portray radically different forms of sentient life with their different psychologies, cultures, biologies and even manage to make each individual different from all others of their species without giant passages of exposition is a truly remarkable skill.
The stories are so intimate, so personal, yet still managing to fit within the grander genres of science fiction. No cosmic threats or world-saving here. In a good way, this novel reminded me of The Breakfast Club, but with even deeper characterisation.
There is nothing about this novel that I dislike…except that it ended.