The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet

Book - 2016
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When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past. And nothing could be further from what she's known than the crew of the Wayfarer. From Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy--exactly what Rosemary wants. That is, until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime: tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn't part of the job description.
Publisher: New York, New York : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]
New York, New York : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ́—́Ư2014.
ISBN: 9780062444134
0062444131
Characteristics: 443 pages ; 21 cm.

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sjpl_DanaLibrariana Sep 03, 2019

I hadn't read Science Fiction in a long time, so I decided I'd start up again when a friend recommended this book to me. While probably a bit light on the "sci" part of the equation, this book packed plenty of humor, complex characters, drama and romance. It also carriers the universal reminder that whether we are a mix of alien races drilling black holes in space or whether we are a mix of human beings droning around on earth, there is value in diversity and being good to one another.

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LucasHill
Aug 04, 2019

If you like stories that pay homage and borrow ideas and plot from numerous science fiction IPs (mostly Hitchhiker's Guide and Firefly), this book is for you. If you want a wholly original story, you'll be out of luck. Probably more suited for young adults than for adults.

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HoneyCorvid
Aug 02, 2019

This is one of my favorite books of all time! I keep a copy in my room to read when I'm down, because Becky Chambers' writing and world fills me with an effusive warmth and just enough hope to get up in the morning. Also, I mean, come on. Who WOULDN'T wanna smooch a cool reptilian alien pilot

For what it's worth, the sequels are also fantastic! They're not direct continuations--they're different stories centered on different characters -- but they tie in and relate to this one, and continue to press the importance of empathy and finding a family in a universe that's big and maybe doesn't have the time to care about you in a big special way. I love the way that despite definitely Not Being Human, all of the aliens feel very real and alive and...personish, in a way that sci-fi often mucks up. Also, I feel like all of the comparisons to firefly are kind of in bad faith----joss whedon likes bang bang shoot 'em ups and mean-spirited snark, and you don't really find anything even remotely like that here. I love Firefly, don't get me wrong! But this story is gentle where Firefly definitely isn't, full of a much more hopeful kind of love.

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NedSu
Jul 09, 2019

I read this book on the recommendation of my wife. She knows of my affinity for science fiction, so it was a companionable fit. The author does a good job of introducing the characters and their back stories and the universe she created is very well realized, too. The only caveat I have is that this book is more Star Trek than Star Wars. The interaction of all the characters is well done and worth the read, but if you are looking for action you find it only rarely. Even the action is a catalyst for developing interactions between the disparate crew. I liked the characters and the universe, and am planning to continue with the series.

IndyPL_CarriG Jul 02, 2019

A fun science-fictiony romp through the universe, I will join my fellow reviewers in stating that it reminded me of Firefly. Kindhearted captains who try to act gruff, cultures where sexuality is not seen as shameful but rather a joyful part of existence, a crew that mostly loves working together except for that one jerk; I'd be surprised if someone isn't already making a tv show out of it. Intereting and unique aliens on a small ship - I am excited to read the rest and see how Chambers' will expand this world.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Jun 12, 2019

Finally read a good friend's favorite book and absolutely loved it. The characters are very diverse in their species and sexuality. I was sad when I finished that the second in the series was not available but some reads are well worth the wait.

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7626dee
Apr 01, 2019

A very pleasant sci-fi novel. Very interesting characters sort of Guardians of the Galaxy without all the violence. Nice when an author actually considers that humans likely will be among the least advanced socially and scientifically and quite dependent upon those "other" species for survival. Hope this author keeps on writing.

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AConsolver
Jan 10, 2019

3.7-4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy science fiction plots, and relevant social commentary.

Rosemary is running from her old life. She pays someone to give her a new identity, and takes up as a clerk on a long haul ship. There she'll meet a diverse cast of characters on a mission to punch holes in space for easier transportation. The work is dangerous and can strand the crew in deep space for long periods of time, which is probably why this crew is a lot like family.

Overall I really liked this book. I am struggling to properly rate it for several reasons... I loved the characters, the world building, and imagination put into this book. The planets, species, etc. alone must have taken ages to dream up. It was all so vivid too, I loved reading about the different places that the crew stopped and the people that they met there. However, I felt like a lot of the action-y parts of the book didn't go very far. Either the action sequences fade to black, are resolved very quickly and without a lot of consequence, or the action scene ends up being more of a bonding scenario for two characters. I felt like that was kind of a let down for me. So, I'm having trouble rating it.... I did also really appreciate the author's ability to weave current social commentary into a book set somewhere completely different. It definitely makes you think about things like racism, violence, humanity, sexuality, etc. I really appreciated that, and I think it probably made me think about some of those topics in a bit of a different way. I will likely read the next book, but I am not in a hurry to get to it.

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shayshortt
Nov 10, 2018

The plot setup led me to believe that the main thrust story would involve the crew getting into trouble at Hedra Ka, where Galactic politics would enter into the equation, and the desire for the resources to be mined in Toremi territory would lead to problems for the Wayfarer. However, much of the story actually takes place aboard the Wayfarer on the journey out to Hedra Ka. They must travel there the long way, since there are no existing wormholes to speed their trip. From there they will punch a tunnel to a marker that will be placed at the other end by another crew. There is plenty of science working beneath the premises Chambers puts forth, but her story is character-driven, and technology is decidedly not the focus. Rather it is the development of the relationships among the crew on this journey that take center stage.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/11/09/the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet/

DPLSaraQT Oct 21, 2018

If you start this book expecting Firefly, you’ll be disappointed. You’ll be delighted, though, if you go into it expecting Great British Baking Show in space: high on diversity and collegiality, low on conflict or tension. So if you need a gentle cup of tea with a bit of aliens and black holes on the side, this is the book for you.

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ipacpc
Apr 26, 2018

ipacpc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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shayshortt
Nov 10, 2018

Living in space was anything but quiet. Grounders never expected that. For anyone who had grown up planetside, it took some time to get used to the clicks and hums of a ship, the ever-present ambience that came with living inside a piece of machinery… Silence belonged to the vacuum outside.

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