Author: Becky Chambers
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Publication Date: 31. December 2015
Rating: 5/5. Stars
Diversity: LGBT Character, PoC
Summary: 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.
This is a feel-good Sci-Fi story with the most amazing relationships. I enjoy stories about found families and this one was one of the best I’ve ever read.
There’s the clerk Rosemary who’s running from her past, the super nice captain Asbhy, grumpy Corbin who only cares about the algae used to power the ship (who I disliked in the beginning, but he grows on you), navigator Ohan whose from a fascinating alien race, doctor and chef Dr. Chef who takes care of everybody (I love him!), mechanic Kizzy who has two dads and loves sweets, mechanic Jenks who’s a little person and also has the most heart-wrenching love story in the book (honestly I cried & it’s a straight love story so it’s good, trust me), Lovey the ships AI, she’s so nice & I love her and last but definitely not least, the ship’s pilot Sissix, she’s a lizard-like alien and my fav.
Bad things happen and there are war and injustice, but it is not the main focus of the story. Most of the characters are nice and all of them are fascinating. We spend more time getting to know a lot of characters, alien and human, and their cultures and backstories. This is a very character-driven story, but as they are all amazing and well thought out it works perfectly. There’re many different alien races (and they don’t look humanoid at all! – giant lizards and centipedes and even weirder creatures) and the all have different cultures. It is really amazing to read about them all.
It is also not a story about ~the chosen ones~, the crew of the wayfarer is just one of many tunneling crews, who just happen to be at the right (wrong?) place at the right time and I love it! What makes them special is the amazing relationships they have with each other.
There’s so much diversity! There are barely any white humans, there are disabled characters, there are sapphic main characters and a lesbian relationship, there are badass woman, there are non-binary/genderfluid aliens (some use they/them pronouns bc they are more than one person, others use xe pronouns, some change gender in the course of their lives). If you’re tired of all the white, straight, binary, human sci-fi, The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet is nothing like that and it is so great.
While there is a lot of lore and a lot of different stories for all the different characters, it is never info-dumped, but rather woven into the story as it happens. And it never gets boring despite you getting to know so many different cultures, both alien and human because they are so different from each other and so interestingly told!
This book definitely restored my faith in Sci-Fi, and I’m very excited for the sequel!
What’s the last great Sci-Fi book you’ve read?