The acclaimed modern science fiction masterpiece, included on Library Journal's Best SFF of 2016, the Barnes & Nobles Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Best Books of 2015, the Tor.com Best Books of 2015, Reader’s Choice, as well as nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Kitschie, and the Bailey's Women's Prize.
Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.
Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.
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Warm and engaging
Warm and engaging aren’t words I would typically think would apply to a space opera, but they are truly applicable here. Becky Chambers has infused her richly-imagined universe with characters who feel alive and who treat each other with a rare kindness and love. In these divisive times, it’s especially comforting to spend time with them, and to imagine a future that might be a bit better than the present in which we are living.
Character Driven SF with Great World-Building
"The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet" is an amazing first novel by Becky Chambers. It is set in her now-expanding Galactic Commons Universe, which is filled with alien species of many interesting sorts. Rosemarie Harper is a person fleeing her family and her past on Mars, so she joins multi-species crew who operate and live on the tunneling-ship "Wayfarer." This crew becomes her new family, and the ship her new home, as they cross the Galactic Commons to establish a hyperspace tunnel to a new species that is expected to join the Commons.
The world building in this space opera is excellent, you want to know more about everything and everywhere. But what really shines are the characters, and their interpersonal relationships. You really get into the heads of these individuals, relate with their points of view, and begin to feel for them. This is a very positive story, where so many novels are so grim, reading this will make you feel good, and want more. Fortunately, Ms. Chambers is writing more works set in the Galactic Commons.
I Love Sissix (And Also Every Other Character)
This book is precisely the sci-fi story I've always wanted, and I enjoyed every page. I recommended this book to my IRL friends before I even finished it, it's that good!
The worldbuilding is compelling. The descriptive writing thoroughly unfolds the sights, sounds and smells the characters encounter. Of course, the best part of the book is the characters! I saw the book as a story about the differences in how people interact with each other, and this is handled very well in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It's been thoroughly a joy to read!