The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet

Book - 2015
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"Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there. But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she's left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war. Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own"--Back cover.
Publisher: London, Hodder & Stoughton,, 2015
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781473619814
Characteristics: 404 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 07, 2017

Loved the concept; hated the execution; The characters are so stereotyped and one-dimensional that you know what's they're going to say and what's going to happened before it happens. It's a novel that requires you to turn off your brain and let it excite your endorphins by reaffirming your simple view of human/alien/cosmos nature.

Oct 04, 2017

This is by far my favourite book of 2017! Think the Mass Effect series mixed with Firefly. This is an amazing book that exemplifies what I love about Science Fiction; it gives you permission to hope and dream of a better world. You will absolutely fall in love with all the characters by the end and be left wanting for more. Luckily, there's a sequel....

I love the way Becky Chambers writes found family, from the interspecies relationships to the tensions that arise on a year-long trip through deep space. She writes the relations between species in the best possible way: there’s galactic peace, but “interspecies sensitivity training” and a long history of wars makes it anything but utopian. Humans aren’t the center of the universe (literally or metaphorically): they’re the weak species, learning to make a place for themselves alongside the stronger, smarter, more peaceful species that rule the galaxy and have let them in as refugees. The story is also much-needed “fluff” if you’re not into grimdark, war-focused sci-fi. It’s about the power of humanity among a found family of non-humans.

I’d heard great things about this book and was overall not disappointed, since I’m a big fan of found family, sci-fi, platonic relationships, and logical worldbuilding. However, if you dislike perspective switches, character-driven plots (very few dramatic battle scenes), or episode formats (no real overarching conflict), this book may not be for you.

HCL_staff_reviews Aug 08, 2017

If you miss Firefly, I have a book for you. Take one large wormhole mining facility, a motley crew of different personalities and species and add a contract where the money is just a little too good and you have The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. There are a couple of places where an editor would have been helpful- this was originally a self-published novel, but the story more than makes up for it. Hilarious, scary, dramatic, fascinating- you want to read this book. -- Cassandra J., St. Anthony Library

Aug 06, 2017

If you like Star Trek from the Gene Roddenberry era, you'll probably like this book. The focus is on the delightful characters--a diverse crew on a starship. This book is a good choice for when you want to read sci fi but don't want anything too "heavy."

Jun 30, 2017

I found this book clunky and totally lacking in cohesion. The first half is a series of exposition all scenes trying to give deep, meaningful insight into each character. I found that they didn't feel at all real, but were desperate attempts to make you fall in love with the amazing characters the author had in their head.

I couldn't tell you about the second half, because I gave up and moved on.

Jun 02, 2017

I find this book fascinating and I am still trying to figure out why. First and perhaps most important, I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a book I enjoyed spending time reading--the characters, the worlds it describes and the things that happened to the characters. As a librarian I have a lot of experience in how to talk about books and their appeal and yet I find this book very hard to categorize. It defies generalization. It is not a romance. It is not action-adventure. I can say what it is not but I find it hard to say what it is. I can't even think of any other book that is quite like it. The closest comparison I can make is to a really good TV series--the kind where the story carries through the entire season with each episode enriching the characters and the world in which they exist but also containing great scenarios and situations in which the characters find themselves. It is a nice blend of happy, sad, exciting and even moving with passages that make you think--my favorite kind of read. A book not to be missed.

May 06, 2017

We follow Rosemary Harper, who is running away from an unhappy life on Mars. She had a good education as an administrative clerk so the ship, The Wayfarer, an old space tunnel borer, hires her. The story follows this multi-species crew that learns to be a family through good and bad times. We learn about various species and outlier colonies and beings, and how humans such as Rosemary and Captain Ashby learn to tolerate, appreciate and respect each sapient being. The crew is kooky, each with issues, but they learn to get along and totally support each other. A very satisfying read.

Mar 22, 2017

So far so great. About 3/4 through and still going strong. A fun, light, easy ready. Definitely not 'hard' sci-fi but some interesting concepts none the less. Definitely not space opera as the critical critic in the opinion section states. Not sure what mass of information bored her. I found the characters really fun and some of the deeper social questions regarding AI raised thoughtful and not heavy handed as i have seen in other works with similar themes. This book is about the journey, exactly as the title states, not the destination.

Mar 09, 2017

Can I just say: Publishers, I am aghast that none of you picked this book up for publication, and Becky Chambers had to self-publish. This is beautiful scifi- an ensemble cast, all fully developed and quirky; realistic consideration for how humanity would actually handle sharing the universe (and a poisoned Earth) with other species; actually alien aliens; socioeconomic and morality issues; friendship, rivalry, romance, family, the whole rainbow of emotions.

Our introduction to the crew of the Wayfarer comes via new member Rosemary, which is a classic way (especially in TV) to introduce an audience to an established environment. But Rosemary isn't the MC- as we get deeper into the book, it becomes more episodic, with different parts following the challenges and journeys of each of the crew members. There's plenty of forward momentum, but it's exactly what I love with an ensemble cast- everyone gets the spotlight, and everyone gets a bit in someone else's story. Ultimately, this crew is friendship, the good and bad sides.

I can definitely see the comparison to Firefly, although there are key differences: other species (which I think were handled fantastically, in that they have a range of cultures and non-human ideals, and the humans have to be sensitive to that), more above-board work (they're space tunnelers, and the concept of how that works is fascinating but also easy for a non-aerospace person like me to grasp), more realistic science meets scifi, and wider themes (although we follow this plucky band of travelers, it isn't only about them and their adventures). Think of your favorite science fiction TV show. It's like that.

Overall, I recommend this for any and all fans of science fiction, especially space opera and episodic stories. I am so, so glad there's going to be more in the series. I'm not ready to leave these characters yet, and I can't wait to see what things await them as we go along.

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Sep 12, 2017

SFaugno thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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