The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky ChambersThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Series: Wayfarers #1
Published by Tantor Audio on July 7, 2016
Source: Library
Genres: Science Fiction
Length: 14 hrs 24 mins
Format: Audiobook
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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, 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.

I really liked The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but I don’t have much to say about it. Do you ever run into that problem. For the most part, we’re hanging out with the crew of the Wayfarer who are an awesome group of “people” – humans and other species, even a sentient AI. They are wormhole tunnelers, which is can be tough, but this newest job is the chance of a lifetime.

Often, it seems like sci-fi is about the politics or the weapons or the conflict, whatever it is. In The Long Way, all those things exist, but it’s more about how the crew are a family, how they face the big issues. We tag along on their adventures in ports or planets where friends live. We worry with them when they face a crisis, but know it will work out, because together they can handle most anything. I became attached to them all. I may have even cried when they had to hard reset the AI, which is not really surprising, I cry a lot at books.

Maybe it’s “feel good” sci-fi, if that’s a thing. The bad things are out there: politicians who put profits over peoples’ lives; prejudice against others due to their species, but the good is so much bigger, there are so many more caring, kind people out there, just trying to do their best. The characters, the crew obviously, but even others we meet briefly are well-drawn, have their own histories and cultures that play into how they act and interact with each other. The galaxy is a hugely diverse place where “people” of all types can find acceptance.

And sometimes filling out the right form can save someone’s life.

About Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers is the author of the award-nominated science fiction novels. She also writes nonfiction essays and short stories, which can be found in various places around the internet.

In addition to writing, Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. She’s worked as a technical writer, a bartender, and a production assistant, among other things. Having lived in Scotland and Iceland, she is currently back in her home state of California.


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