From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope: The incredible new novel by Becky Chambers, author of the beloved THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET: 'a quietly profound, humane tour de force.' (Guardian).
'The best speculative fiction currently being written' John Connolly.
From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope.
The incredible new novel by Becky Chambers, author of the beloved THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET.
Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.
Tessa chose to stay home when her brother Ashby left for the stars, but has to question that decision when her position in the Fleet is threatened.
Kip, a reluctant young apprentice, itches for change but doesn't know where to find it.
Sawyer, a lost and lonely newcomer, is just looking for a place to belong.
And when a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home can no longer avoid the inescapable question:
What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?
'Richly human, believable [and] compelling . . . underlain with a deep compassion and a feeling for community' Tor.com.
'Terrific. . . a masterly exploration of characterisation and diversity wrapped in intensity, heartbreak and tension.' Joanne Harris, author of CHOCOLAT.
'An emotional, moving look at what it means to be human, and the importance of heritage and legacy' Lauren James, author of THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERS.
'Exactly what I hoped it would be and more . . . Moving in what feels like small personal ways but is actually big, universal ways and it is uplifting on the same scale' Forbidden Planet.
The best speculative fiction currently being written . . . Becky Chambers is a wonder, and I feel better for having her books in my life - John Connolly, author of the Charlie Parker Thrillers
Yes, these books really are that good . . . Anyone who scorns sci-fi as a lesser genre really doesn't deserve to read anything as splendid as this - Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
An emotional, moving look at what it means to be human, and the importance of heritage and legacy - Lauren James, author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Relatable characters in a fascinating universe . . . the writing uplifts and captivates - Gareth Powell, author of Embers of War
Both fascinating and entertaining... Becky's portrayal of humanity is generous, kind and honest - Geneveive Cogman, author of The Forbidden Library
Record of a Spaceborn Few was even better than I had suspected it would be based on the publisher's blurb, and astonishingly it made absolutely no difference at all that I haven't read the preceding two books (yet). And it was also completely different a story than I had been expecting based on that same blurb. Unlike most titles these days, the one Becky Chambers chose for this book is the most precise description of a book I have yet seen an author offer: a record of a spaceborn few is exactly what this book is. It follows a cast of a limited number of characters during a short period of their lives on a homesteader (a city-sized spaceship) called Asteria, as they orbit a star granted them by the Galactic Commons. Now, this is all sounding a bit Star-Trek, I know, but despite the occasional alien character this is one of the best examples of writing humans I have seen in a long, long time. The complex relationships and morals that this book manages to convey while still being simple enough for me to read in less than a week of one hour per day (because I have commitments, people!) is actually astonishing. I have no experience with Ms. Chambers' writing previous to this book, so I don't know if this is just the way that she writes or if it is an evolution of a previous writing style or something entirely new for her, but it was fantastic. The way themes such as life, death, love, and betrayal are casually and yet meaningfully treated in Record of a Spaceborn Few made the entire reading experience an absolute pleasure and I cannot recommend this book enough. I have little room on my bookshelves at the moment but as soon as that changes, I'm going to be acquiring hard copies of the Wayfarers series and starting the whole thing from the beginning. I may have found a new favourite author. Five star read, people.
Becky Chambers is the author of the Wayfarers books, which currently include The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few. Her books have been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Women's Prize for Fiction, among others, and won the Prix Julia Verlanger in 2017. She grew up in a family heavily involved in space science, and hopes to see Earth from orbit one day.