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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Wayfarers 1 Paperback – 31 Dec 2015
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A joyous, optimistic space opera... Although it isn't shy about tackling Big Questions, PLANET is a heart-warming debut novel that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general). (Tor.com)
One of the most enjoyable, brilliantly realised spacey SF novels I've read in ages. (James Smythe, author of The Echo)
One of the most delightful novels science-fiction that I've read in recent years. (Citior SF)
The Long Way is, very simply, an extremely good book, a seemingly effortless demonstration of how progressive and enjoyable science fiction can be. (Pornokitsch)
A huge amount of space-opera-y fun, with some interestingly nuanced perspectives on gender woven into the whole. (Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass)
The beloved debut novel 'that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general).' (Tor.com)See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
We have a very simple story of an ingenue human female joining the crew of a ship that creates wormholes so that future travellers don't have to reinvent the laws of physics to get from one bit of the galaxy to another. It's a bit like blasting the Brynglas Tunnel but through spacetime rather than Wales.
There's a ship's doctor with tentacles, a reptilian pilot with feathers and scales and a navigator infected with a symbiotic virus who isn't an 'it' nor a 'he' nor a 'she' but a 'them.' And while there isn't much in the way or erotic action there is some human/AI coupling (appendages and USB slots mercifully absent) and even a lesbian love plot featuring a walking talking iguana. Oh, and the human captain is boffing an alien female almost as exotic as anything Captain Kirk managed to dock with apart from the silicon rock thingy.
Anyway, back to the book. Nothing of enormous note happens. There's a series of planet visits, encounters with even weirder species than the those that make up the Wayfarer crew, yet more than a few scenes of genuine tension and encounters with not so nice aliens making up this new universe. We in the 21st Century struggle with multi-culturalism. Here the challenge is to get on with folk who hatch from eggs.
And it's these small adventures and how they shape and flesh out the characters of this little cosmopolitan gang that are the real beauty of the book. They're less a crew more a family. They have each others backs. This is a story about how our undeniably unpleasant species might one day grow up. Human beings can eventually become empathic and accepting of others. In fact, they've grown up so much that even gender politics don't really exist. They don't need to. We're talking girl-on-girl human-lizard sex here so homophobia? Who cares.
It's the sort of story with hugely likeable characters the reader really doesn't want to lose touch with. The sequel is by all accounts less a sequel, more a related story featuring some of the more peripheral characters from Angry Planet but Becky Chambers is hopefully writing a second book featuring the Wayfarer and her crew while I plunge into A Closed and Common Orbit: Wayfarers 2 She's a great writer.
Aliens are quite well thought up, although many names are all pretty similar making me lose track of which race is which.
The plot is quite good and good pace throughout. It feels a bit like a TV series rather than a movie - I wasn't tempted to stay up late to read a bit more as I would with some gripping plots. But relaxing and enjoyable.
Asimov, Ian M Banks, Heinlein, Brinn, Cherryh, Clarke, etc.
This is really good, IMHO, I mean REALLY GOOD.
Once upon a time female science fiction writers used to change their names, and/or use initials, because in a male dominated genre & publishing industry it was some how thought that it was 'a mans job' to write science fiction. What tosh.
Anne McAffery, C. J. Cherryh.
. . . .
This is clearly written by a woman, but i guessed C. J Cherryh was a female about 1985,years before I found out I was right, on the internet, and care as little about the gender of the author the today as I did when i was 15.
So, the characters have depth, and feelings.
The tech is Ike Star Treck. Q: "How does a transporter buffer work?" A: 'Very well."
That is good enough, as this is about people, human or otherwise, and their feelings and interaction. The Sci-Fi part Is just the glue to make the rest work, and work it does,
I will be pre-ordering the next book in the series.
I think I found a really good series in the making. :)
Overall though, the crew were a great mix and very much had the same feeling as that in Firefly (despite having more alien variety) - a motley group looking after each other like a family and taking life as it comes. I'm definitely on board to see what comes next.
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Most recent customer reviews
Very relatable characters although could a tad more complex. Highly recommend