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Record of a Spaceborn Few

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From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope 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 caref From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope 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. 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?


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From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope 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 caref From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope 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. 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?

30 review for Record of a Spaceborn Few

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    (3.5) I found this book incredibly relaxing and comforting. Not what I would expect to say about a Sci-fi but Chamber's universe is so wholesome. If you enjoy contemporary "slice of life" type of books, you need to give this series a shot. It's beautiful, not exactly my cup of tea, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  2. 5 out of 5

    carol.

    Here's the part where you think I'm going to eat my words. But I don't think I have to: think of it as being able to love Star Wars, and The Empire Strikes Back, but not Return of the Jedi. In fact, it's nearly exactly like that. In this book, Chambers seems to think people are basically this: hippie commune Or, in my analogy, Ewok village But they aren't. People are basically beings with a variety of upbringings, chemical soups, and experiences. Which often suck. Except in this book, where they don Here's the part where you think I'm going to eat my words. But I don't think I have to: think of it as being able to love Star Wars, and The Empire Strikes Back, but not Return of the Jedi. In fact, it's nearly exactly like that. In this book, Chambers seems to think people are basically this: hippie commune Or, in my analogy, Ewok village But they aren't. People are basically beings with a variety of upbringings, chemical soups, and experiences. Which often suck. Except in this book, where they don't suck. Sure, humans might be tired, or selfish, or cranky, or scared. But they'll feel guilty, or talk it out at the end of the day, or Do The Right Thing (TM), and basically respect each other's right to be people. Chambers has forgotten that out in the world, there is this: creepy molester and criminal boss or this: beings willing to capture your ass for money and sell you to the highest bidder But hey! I’m usually an At-Least-You-Have-a-Glass-of-Water kind of person, so I could have gotten on board with a book that tended to forget about the more dysfunctional among us, if only the narrative hadn’t been so disjointed. We followed a bunch of different people doing a bunch of different things. I get the agenda: show the microcosm of experience through the individual and let it gestalt into a whole picture of how a civilization coped with diaspora. Except it doesn’t, not at all. The story begins with a woman, Tessa, and her small child, Aya, and ends on Aya’s scream. It then switches point of view to Isabel the Archivist as she films the scene at a horrible space accident. It switches again to that of Eyas, a professional undertaker, a ceremonial and practical position, as she and her colleagues try to comprehend how they will process forty-three thousand bodies on the fragile eco-system of the space station. We jump to young Kip and his dad as they witness the arrival of the alien Aeluons who will help, then jump again to the human Sawyer, on his home installation, witnessing a group of Exodans mourning the disaster. The space accident frames our introduction to these people, but in an odd way, has very little influence on the story. I rather missed the fallout (ha!) when I realized Chambers had moved on to another story. I really wish I could have gotten behind the stories of these people. Not Kip, because his is the story of the adolescent-on-the-verge-of-adulthood, and I don’t care very much about that story, and Chambers brings exactly nothing new to it to keep me interested. And honestly, not so much Tessa, because Tessa’s the core of most women’s lit-fic where a woman is just raising her family the best she can while her partner is far, far away. My interest in Sawyer’s story was limited by his devastating naivete, kind of like Luke when he first goes to the space station, only Sawyer doesn’t have anyone watching out for him, so it’s pretty obvious he’s going to Fall In With Bad People. But Eyas’ involvement in ritualized death and organic reclamation is vaguely interesting, as is Isabel’s general work, along with her guest, the alien ethnologist. Which, now that I count, amounts to two stories that were really interesting and a couple that were vaguely interesting, and one that was annoying. The book might have still worked for me if it was told a bit more like A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, or as short stories that gave insight into each character, but the chapters frequently ended on a sort of emotional or plot cliffhanger. It was a poor choice, because it disrupted the character build and ruined the plot build. Frequently, the ‘resolution’ would be finding out the aftermath of how something was managed, not the actual scene where it played out. Contributing further to the sense of disjointedness, Chambers also resorts to a device from the first book, and gives a sort of alien journalist-historical entry perspective at the beginning of each of the seven sections. Ultimately, I could have gotten behind a rose-colored-glasses look at a human exodus from Earth, had it been better told, or with more interesting characters. For the most part, these stories were too small to tell such a big story, trying too hard to wrap the breadcrumbs of everyday life into world events. I lost interest about halfway through and resorted to skimming. I thought I’d keep it around and try giving it a more serious go, but someone else in the library system wants it, and frankly, they’re welcome to it. I might try it again, but only in the way that I try custard every few years, to see if it is still as uninteresting as the last time I tried it. And the same way I watch Return of the Jedi, which is to say, hardly at all, and only if I’m feeling particularly completionist (I just quit after Han is freed, naturally.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    If there was ever such a thing as cover porn then this series hit the nail on its head.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Another beautiful spaceborn story from the talented Becky Chambers following her first two Wayfarer books. While I enjoyed this book, I appreciated it slightly less than the first book Angry Planet probably due to my more masculine taste for a voyage-type story whereas Spaceborn Few is more of an internal voyage. Humanity is adjusting to centuries of living in the Fleet (sort of like Battlestar Galactica’s fleet or Leia’s ragtag Rebel fleet) as the Exodans having escaped the collapse of Earth’s Another beautiful spaceborn story from the talented Becky Chambers following her first two Wayfarer books. While I enjoyed this book, I appreciated it slightly less than the first book Angry Planet probably due to my more masculine taste for a voyage-type story whereas Spaceborn Few is more of an internal voyage. Humanity is adjusting to centuries of living in the Fleet (sort of like Battlestar Galactica’s fleet or Leia’s ragtag Rebel fleet) as the Exodans having escaped the collapse of Earth’s viability as a planet. The book follows one curious alien who is writing about the Fleet for other alien species in the Galactic Commons (GC), a few Exodans on the Fleet, and one unfortunate Grounder who comes to the Fleet out of curiosity. These lives are all loosely intertwined during the book with insights about accepting difference, accepting change, and working for the common good. It is well-written with a little less tech than the first book (and less character development than the second one). There are some concepts here for which one needs to have read the first two books: the gender- and species-neutral pronoun and term of respect, xyr and M respectively. Also, like the previous two books, there is a definite feminist bent to the story and characters which is both rare in science fiction and yet is neither overbearing or condescending- it feels natural and fluid under Chamber’s pen. These ideas - as fundamentally human as they seem to this reader - may seem heretical to some of the knuckle-dragging Trumpists now disproportionately taking up media space. Chambers’ universe is one of inclusion. A futuristic Copernican universe where the Earth, its tech, its mythologies, and its destiny are not dependent on “God’s will”, where Earth is hopelessly behind on technology and cannot survive without alien help, and where all genders and sexual choices are equally valued. This is what strikes me as the most original element to the GC: its utopian inclusiveness. One would hope that the solutions that the Fleet creates for countering greed and grift would truly work, but the current state of humanity would leave one skeptical in the extreme. I have to admit a little frustration from not hearing from Jinks and the rest of the Wayfarer crew (other than a side reference to Ashby since his sister Tess is a protagonist in Spaceborn and allusions to the events at the end of Angry Planet). I guess I'll hold on to some hope that Chambers will come back with a 4th volume to give me some closure :) A breath of fresh air (from the spaceborn grass as it were), Spaceborn Few is an agreeable read about a distant utopia whose ideals we would be remiss not to value more in the present.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    * I was sent this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review * "From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope..." This book isn't quite a direct sequel to the events of The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, but it does start at the same time as the events in tLWtaSAP are finishing up. We follow a host of entirely new host of characters, all of whom are connected to, or interested in, the Exodus Fleet. One of these characters has a tie to Ashby from the first * I was sent this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review * "From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope..." This book isn't quite a direct sequel to the events of The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, but it does start at the same time as the events in tLWtaSAP are finishing up. We follow a host of entirely new host of characters, all of whom are connected to, or interested in, the Exodus Fleet. One of these characters has a tie to Ashby from the first book, she's his sister, but other than that, there's not a lot of connections between the characters, it's more about a new focus within the same universe. The Exodus Fleet is the fleet of space-ships specially designed by humanity to blast their culture into the stars away from Earth and to never go back. It was built at a time when humanity was desperate, and the slow shift from lone voyagers to becoming part of the GC was a long time coming. We pick up the Fleet many generations later when they have been a part of the GC for quite a few decades, and we follow a variety of people who all have an interest in the Fleet. What i love about Becky Chamber's writing is that it never feels like a big space battle, but more of a focus in on the everyday lives of those who live in this universe. She's very good at showing you a society where things are better, people are more open and accepting, and she can draw you into the narratives of the characters too. I really think her books are about people who just so happen to be in Space, as they are thought-provoking and honest and emotional. Some of the characters we follow included: - Isobel and her wife. They are some of the older members of the Fleet so they remember the time that was spent trying to convince the other alien races of the GC that Humans were a species worth inviting in. She works in the Archives, and she has a great understanding of what the Fleet stands for and what it seeks to protect. She also has a friend Harmaegeon (sp? - I don't have my copy of the book with me as I am writing this) who is interested in coming to examine the Fleet, and she brings xry in to the lifestyle there. - Eyas is a young worker who works in the Fleet as a composter and burial expert. Her time is spent preparing corpses to return to the Earth and give back to the community as they are now in Space and have limited resources Her job is vital to the survival of the Fleet, and she sees her task as a monumental one which gives value to those who have left this life. She's proud of her job, and yet she seeks something more for her Fleet. - Kip is a teenage boy who is bored with his lot in the Fleet. He's grown up here his whole life and he can't seem to find anything he particularly likes and wants to get involved in. He's a typical teen who does stupid stuff because his friends tell him to, and yet he learns a lot about his own heritage and place by the end of the story. - Tessa is the sister to Ashby (a character from tLWtaSAP) and she has two kids, Ky and Aya. They are both quite young and she spends most of her time taking care of them when she's not at work. Her aspirations aren't quite clear at the start of the book as she isn't quite clear on them herself, but she has a strong motherly desire to protect her kids and when they are later put under pressure she has to think about whether the Fleet can offer what they need. - Sawyer is an outsider to the Fleet, although he is Human and somehow generations back he's connected to them. He comes from Mushtullo which is a place of crime and hunger and he's heard that the Fleet will always feed everyone and always provide for their own. He wants to make a go of it, and so he travels to the Fleet to start a new life there. - Gol'loloha (sp? - this for sure isn't the spelling of this, but I will correct it when I have my copy in my hands) is a Harmaegeon (sp?) alien who is interested in learning about the Fleet from another point of view. Xe is not overly familiar with Human ways, and so xe comes tot he Fleet to learn and to write about it and let the other people in the GC learn about them too. The Fleet is quite insular at times, and so not too much is actually known y those who aren't a part of it and so xyr job is to inform others. What I love about this solar system is just how nice everyone is. Sure, there are plenty of bad things that happen and it's not all sunshine and roses, but the people and aliens know that the only way to survive is to be accepting and open and try to listen. I feel like the integrating of xe/xyr pronouns and same-sex couples was seamless and fit the universe. It makes perfect sense that these things would become completely 'normal' and beyond comment in a society such as the one Chambers is showing us. I love it, and I think she's done an excellent job. Overall, this was brilliant. Each story opens up the character and the universe more, and with every book in this universe (and in my opinion she could go on writing in this universe forever and I would read them all) I feel like I am more enchanted and captivated. 5*s of course, and I will be eagerly awaiting the next thing she decides to write :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    “From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.” Hey Becky Chambers .... if you're listening ..... *slides across a $5 note* .... write more of these This entire series has been such a pleasure to read and I am so sad it is over. Although this is probably my least favourite of the three I still enjoyed reading it and even felt a bit emotional at the end with the thought of this series ending. Everything about this series is so wholesome. I love the simple message of h “From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.” Hey Becky Chambers .... if you're listening ..... *slides across a $5 note* .... write more of these This entire series has been such a pleasure to read and I am so sad it is over. Although this is probably my least favourite of the three I still enjoyed reading it and even felt a bit emotional at the end with the thought of this series ending. Everything about this series is so wholesome. I love the simple message of hope and a future where people are just better to eachother, and coming out of reading these books I always feel so warm and good. I LOVE that about them. These books are just such a bright sweet spot in my heart. In Record of a Spaceborn Few we dive into life on the Fleet, examining how Exodan humans have lived and adapted to life in space. Told partly through a documentary being conducted on the humans by an alien from the outside, the worldbuilding is admittedly fascinating. I loved the focus on humans as space refugees, and how the narrative reinforced the inherent value and worth of people. Using a podcast to tell a part of the story was one of my favourite concepts here, I loved the formatting and the alien perspective on human activities was funny and endearing. Of all the books, this probably has the best worldbuilding, or it is at least equal with book one. And I've always loved this books soft take on science fiction, as well as the careful detail and bountiful creativity Chambers put into constructing her vision of space. It absolutely shone in this book. “The guilt lingered, even so. Ghosts were imaginary, but hauntings were real.” that all being said I didn't quite connect to this one as much as previous books in the series. I was hoping old characters would reappear but they did not. On top of that, there is literally no plot until 70% through. And while these books aren't exactly plot driven, I get annoyed when an entire books feels like the first 100 pages - setting up the characters and world of an event that will supposedly eventually happen. I also just didn't connect to the characters as much. I found them a bit confusing and sometimes got them mixed up. There was a lot of POV's and I felt like some of them weren't adding a lot to the story some of the time. 🚀 Tessa: Tessa's brother is Ashby from the first book. I loved this connection between book one and three. I enjoyed Tessa's character most of the time but I found her arc quite predictable. I also felt that the character growth wasn't really there until the last kinda 10%. 🚀 Kip: Probably my favourite character in the book. Kip is a teenager sick of living on the fleet and eager to escape into wider space and discover his true meaning. I think Kip was fun to follow, he's angsty and moody but I found him funny and endearing and I loved his character growth. His arc had the perfect ending, and I was getting totally teary eyed over it. Also, he is gay, so we love a queer icon. 🚀 Eyas: My second favourite character. Her role in society is to turn the remains of people into soil to be used in the colony. I loved Eyas and her relationship with Sunny. It was cool to see a positive and empowering representation of a sex worker here. Eyas role was extremely interesting and I enjoyed the pondering introspective tone of her chapters. 🚀 Isabelle: I appreciated her chapters because her wife was often present and that good sapphic content made me happy. But I also felt like her chapters didn't add a whole lot to the story until the ending? I did enjoy her interactions with Kip though. 🚀 Sawyer: Potentially where this novel falls down the most is in the characterisation and role of Sawyer. The main conflict relies on the reader feeling sorry for Sawyer but I was never that invested. Failing to make me really care about him or his plight, which is what the entire novels hinges on, definitely contributed to why I felt so disconnected to the story at times. We are the Exodus Fleet. We are those that wandered, that wander still. We are the homesteaders that shelter our families. We are the miners and foragers in the open. We are the ships that ferry between. We are the explorers who carry our names. We are the parents who lead the way. We are the children who continue on. If you're into space operas, and space stories that focus heavily on people and worldbuilding rather than space battles and action DEFINITELY pick up this series. It's quite and introspective and focusses a lot on working out what makes humans, human. I really appreciated that philosophical thread throughout this series, but particularly in Record of a Spaceborn Few. Although it is not my favourite of the three, it was still very beautiful and gave me that warm, wholesome feeling I love about this series. I am definitely sad I don't have any more books in this series to look forward to.

  7. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    I am soooooo bummed. The first book in this series is easily one of my favourite books in the entire world, the second book wasn't quite as good, but I still adored it. This one, however, I really struggled with :( I didn't care about any of the characters and I think there were too many POV's, and I kept confusing who was who. I feel like the first two books, although very character driven, had an underlying plot, whereas this one didn't. It felt so directionless. I'm so so so so so so disappoi I am soooooo bummed. The first book in this series is easily one of my favourite books in the entire world, the second book wasn't quite as good, but I still adored it. This one, however, I really struggled with :( I didn't care about any of the characters and I think there were too many POV's, and I kept confusing who was who. I feel like the first two books, although very character driven, had an underlying plot, whereas this one didn't. It felt so directionless. I'm so so so so so so disappointed with this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Oddly enough, I had to revise my original rating on book 2 down to accommodate my feelings for this one. Whoa, right? Well, I found I liked this one more than the second, but that's just the thing. I didn't fall head over heels for this one. So I had to deal with that dissonance. This novel is about as bucolic as you can get aboard a spacecraft. Totally pastoral. The focus is on ordinary people doing ordinary things and backing off the whole action schtick to get introspective and a bit aimless. Oddly enough, I had to revise my original rating on book 2 down to accommodate my feelings for this one. Whoa, right? Well, I found I liked this one more than the second, but that's just the thing. I didn't fall head over heels for this one. So I had to deal with that dissonance. This novel is about as bucolic as you can get aboard a spacecraft. Totally pastoral. The focus is on ordinary people doing ordinary things and backing off the whole action schtick to get introspective and a bit aimless. I like that on occasion, but sometimes I just have to be in the mood for it. In this case, I was. These novels are all character driven. I can't expect huge happenings and anyway, they didn't happen. So what do we have left? Details, themes, and asking the biggest question of all... why are we here? What does it mean to live in a place where you're scared, how do you know what to do with your life, and how to hold on to happiness. The big stuff. I liked it. Generational space ship, aliens, communication stuff, closed systems, the spirit of wonder... all this is still in the novel, of course, but the focus threw all that into the background. What we have left is a close to the cuff drama. :) Pretty nice, actually. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Hutchinson

    Each book in this series is beautiful in its own way, but RoaSF just really hit in me in a particular way that I can't explain. There's so much humanity in Chambers' books, and while very little actually happens in terms of plot, the stories of the character unfold in a way that never feels boring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Harris

    I was lucky enough to snag a copy of the ARC of this from my publishers, and I'll be buying the hardback version when it comes out. Yes, these books really are that good. I loved the two previous books in this (Series? Cycle?), especially the way in which the stories slot together in a non-linear fashion within an expanding fictional world, which means they can be read and re-read in any order, with equal enjoyment. And oh, how they are enjoyable - on many different levels. I have spoken before I was lucky enough to snag a copy of the ARC of this from my publishers, and I'll be buying the hardback version when it comes out. Yes, these books really are that good. I loved the two previous books in this (Series? Cycle?), especially the way in which the stories slot together in a non-linear fashion within an expanding fictional world, which means they can be read and re-read in any order, with equal enjoyment. And oh, how they are enjoyable - on many different levels. I have spoken before of the excellent characterization; the masterly exploration of diversity and the subtle treatment of different races. I may also have mentioned how engaging the world is, and how easy and pleasurable it is to immerse oneself into it again. Those things continue to be true, but I think that in some ways this book is even more subtle and accomplished than the first two. Imagine THE GRAPES OF WRATH, set in space, with all the intensity, heartbreak and tension that implies. And grieve a little for the fact that the mainstream literary world is so slow in acknowledging the scope, skill and literary value of sci-fi - although frankly, anyone who scorns sci-fi as a lesser genre really doesn't deserve to read anything as splendid as this.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/09/... Record of A Spaceborn Few might be my favorite Wayfarers novel yet. Structurally and thematically, it is quite unlike either of its predecessors, but these differences from book to book are what I love most about this series. First, readers got to explore the galaxy and encounter new alien species and civilizations in A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. In contrast, A Closed and Common Orbit was a smaller and more intimate 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/09/... Record of A Spaceborn Few might be my favorite Wayfarers novel yet. Structurally and thematically, it is quite unlike either of its predecessors, but these differences from book to book are what I love most about this series. First, readers got to explore the galaxy and encounter new alien species and civilizations in A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. In contrast, A Closed and Common Orbit was a smaller and more intimate affair, narrowing the scope to focus on the journeys of two outsiders who ultimately found home in each other. Likewise, this third volume in the series is a deeply personal tale, but at the core of its narrative, the novel also explores the evolution and development of human society, focusing particular attention on the shipborne descendants of the last people to leave a dying Earth. Needless to say, the anthropology student in me couldn’t help but jump for joy. Chronologically, most of the events in Record of a Spaceborn Few take place right after A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, though the story itself is a standalone. This time, Becky Chambers welcomes us to the Exodus Fleet, a collection of ancient ships home to the largest population of humans found outside the Sol system. Since their departure from Earth, generations have been born and raised here. And while some have left for greener pastures, never to return, others have chosen to stay and carry on the way of life. The Exodans have long abandoned their original goal of finding the perfect planet upon which to settle, deciding on space as their permanent home. The many centuries, however, has taken its toll on the fleet’s deteriorating hulls. In the novel’s prologue, an accident aboard the Oxomoco causes a catastrophic breach and decompression, killing tens of thousands. As the rest of the fleet rushes to provide aid, the aftermath of accident is related through the eyes of our main characters, who are still affected by memories of the horror years later. Tessa is an Exodan, sister of none other than Ashby who left the fleet years ago to captain the Wayfarer. Her daughter was just shy of five-years-old when the Oxomoco disaster occurred, the trauma of the incident etching itself onto the little girl’s psyche. Then there’s Isobel, a senior archivist who has dedicated her life to recording and preserving the history and memories of the Exodus Fleet. Whether they are happy or sad, all significant events must be documented for posterity. Another character is Eyas, a “caretaker”, the euphemistic name for a person on the fleet who handles the remains of the dead in a highly ritualized process. Nothing is wasted in space, including the bodies of those who pass. Next is Kip, a teenage boy who has no idea what he wants to do with his life, other than the fact he wants to leave the Exodus Fleet as soon as he graduates. And finally, there is Sawyer, a young man from the colony of Mushtullo who arrives at the fleet in order to find his ancestral roots—and maybe, just maybe, a chance at a new life now that there’s nothing left for him planetside. This book touched me in a profound, beautiful way. Years ago, when I was in college, I read an ethnography for class about a society of island people whose traditions were rapidly disappearing in the face of modern technology and civilization. More and more, their old ways were becoming relics of another era, and young people were leaving in droves for jobs and education on the mainland. To preserve their history and culture, the islanders who remained were a closely-knit community who fought hard to preserve their customs and beliefs that were handed down from generation to generation. I was reminded of all this, because in many ways, I saw parallels in the Exodus Fleet. For some, who can’t imagine a home anywhere else, perpetuating life on the fleet was paramount, while others who felt trapped by it were drawn to opportunities in the wider galaxy beyond. Then there are those who felt obligated to stay out of a sense of duty of guilt, or simply because this was the only life they’ve ever known. Outsiders, even those who came to discover and learn, were not always welcome and were sometimes mistrusted. And when it came to aliens—most of whom saw the Exodus Fleet as a quaint oddity at best, a futile drain on resources at worst—the emotions involved were even more confusing and contentious. This perhaps was best illustrated by the interludes featuring Ghuh’loloan, a Harmagian ethnographer who came to work with Isabel to study and write about the Exodan experience. Like the previous novels, Record of a Spaceborn Few is celebration of life, love, and hope. The antithesis to the new crop of sci-fi coming out these days featuring nihilistic themes and gritty stories and characters, the Wayfarer series honestly feels like a breath of fresh air. There is just so much heart here, the message being that the galaxy might be a big and scary place, but you can always count on the best of humanity to come out in a crisis. Once again, I’m simply astonished at the level of warmth and compassion found in the individual character’s stories. Each person is someone you can relate to, someone you can come to care deeply about. What more can I say? Becky Chambers is probably one of the most remarkable talents to break out in recent years, and even with three books under her belt in the Wayfarer series, she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, I think her stories are only getting better and better. Go and read this book. Read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet too, if you haven’t already. And A Closed and Common Orbit. Read it all. You won’t regret it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I loved the first two Wayfarers books, each for different reasons. This one follows several stories inside the Exodus Fleet, the people who left Earth but weren't rich enough to move places like Mars. They've continued living and building upon the ships they left in, and have slowly created a sustaining colony. The book starts with a disaster that sets a few stories in motion. Like all Chambers books, I appreciate the focus on people and relationships, interesting aliens and their places in the u I loved the first two Wayfarers books, each for different reasons. This one follows several stories inside the Exodus Fleet, the people who left Earth but weren't rich enough to move places like Mars. They've continued living and building upon the ships they left in, and have slowly created a sustaining colony. The book starts with a disaster that sets a few stories in motion. Like all Chambers books, I appreciate the focus on people and relationships, interesting aliens and their places in the universe, and seeing the "civilization" perspective of the salvage crew that shows up. One character is an Archivist, keeping a video record of events. Another is a caretaker, welcoming those newly born to the community and aiding those who pass to contribute in other ways. One is a teenager looking for a purpose, and another is an exile from another place, looking for a home. The alternating narratives make for a quick and pleasurable read. Thanks to the publisher for giving me access to this title via Edelweiss. It comes out in the United States on 24 July, 2018.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    I wasn't sure about this when I started, but it really grew on me. The story is much more understated than in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and the sequel, A Closed and Common Orbit. What all three books do have in common, however, is that they are intensely character focused, and the characters are engaged in reevaluating their lives, and what it means to be a person. Unlike many other books of this genre, Record of a Spaceborn Few doesn't use a central conflict to drive the story, but i I wasn't sure about this when I started, but it really grew on me. The story is much more understated than in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and the sequel, A Closed and Common Orbit. What all three books do have in common, however, is that they are intensely character focused, and the characters are engaged in reevaluating their lives, and what it means to be a person. Unlike many other books of this genre, Record of a Spaceborn Few doesn't use a central conflict to drive the story, but instead looks the ordinary struggle of the average person in their daily life. The citizens of the Exodan fleet are humans who left Earth behind generations ago, and have since redefined their human culture into something unique. But is living in this place and in these circumstances enough? What does it mean to live a fulfilling life? Ultimately I found this to be a relatable story that follows several different, yet wholly average, people in their personal quests to answer these questions.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope. (Motto of the Exodus Fleet) This is the third installment in the Wayfarer series, a slow-burn science fiction series. I say "slow-burn" because there are no epic battles in space and even when a person is killed, it's more about the exploration of grief, how the community deals with the death as well as the local funeral rights, rather than the investigation and arrest of the culprit(s). Here, we are on the "Osteria", one of From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope. (Motto of the Exodus Fleet) This is the third installment in the Wayfarer series, a slow-burn science fiction series. I say "slow-burn" because there are no epic battles in space and even when a person is killed, it's more about the exploration of grief, how the community deals with the death as well as the local funeral rights, rather than the investigation and arrest of the culprit(s). Here, we are on the "Osteria", one of the 32 generational vessels that make up the Exodus Fleet. Exodans are humans from Earth that had to leave the planet when it became uninhabitable (spoiler alert: we've poisoned the Earth and it, then, poisoned us). Humans have travelled through space ever since and even after finding other life forms, staying in one orbit and technically joining the GC (Galactic Commons) a long time ago, Exodans tend to stay separate - though there is a little bit of intergalactic trade and some people even leave the Fleet for good (such as Ashby, whom we know from the first installment). The entire Fleet is based on the principle of being sustainable. Every Exodan is about being useful to the community, nothing goes to waste, which can also be seen in the ships' design which is like a honeycomb. People share everything although they do still have personal space. It's about survival of the species in the long run while remaining an individual - but how do these principles hold up after contact has been made, making most of the principles a mere philosophical question?! If it's all about the journey, what do you do when you've finally arrived, especially if your ancestors weren't even sure they or any of their descendants would ever reach any place?! It was interesting to see the old values that all had their reason and place (and were very rational and thought through, making me question if humans would actually manage that *lol*) now being questioned thanks to outside influences. Very funny, for example, how some Exodans reacted to young kids and teenagers mixing their language with Clip (the general galactic language). Especially to me, as a linguist, this was a fascinating question since we already discuss this issue enough in real life thanks to slang and emojis and whatnot. There were also questions about the self-sustaining economy (based on trade) reacting to currency and new technology being thrown into the mix. (view spoiler)[Tessa being told that her job will be done by an AI in the future and that she needed to find a new job was VERY interesting. So many jobs have become obsolete thanks to technological advances and it can only get "worse" in the future (if it actually is a bad thing always depends on your point of view and a number of additional circumstances) so what do you do when you identify with your job - especially in a society where your worth is defined by what you do for the community and then you're suddenly no longer supposed to do that?! (hide spoiler)] However, the most heavy-hitting topic, certainly, was that of life and death. You see, when you need to produce your own food and water for lack of a planet and you need to think hundreds and even thousands of generations ahead (the Exodans couldn't have known, upon leaving Earth, when or if they'd run into inhabitable planets and other species), you also have a use for dead bodies. Yes, we're talking about a cycle where dead bodies become compost, and I thought the author had a wonderful way of tactfully but also logically approaching the issue. We get to follow five people of several ages as they interact with one another and react to Exodan customs. One POV was Isabel, an elderly woman and archivist explaining history and therefore the reason and evolution of certain customs to an Aluon (another species) scholar who subsequently writes essays about the Exodan culture to encourage understanding in the entire galaxy. One of the characters being an alien was great beacuse it conveniently provided the reader with a completely different angle on all kinds of topics. Another POV was Tessa, a mother of two, whose husband is a space miner and therefore often away (through her we also got glimpses into how children perceive the Fleet or what her father thinks of certain medical technology). Yet another POV was Kip, a teenager, who is struggling to fit in and therefore rebels against the familiar. Not to mention Sawyer, an immigrant to the Fleet ((view spoiler)[very nice way of slipping in the topic of isolationism into the book when it is talked about how different Exodans reacted to his death and the reason for him having died (hide spoiler)] ), and Eyas who is working as a "caretaker" (they accompany Exodans in their last moments, then prepare the bodies for the funeral and subsequent "recycling process"). My second most favourite part of this book was (view spoiler)[the exploration of Sunny and his job as ... well, a prostitute. The thought of it, too, being sort of a caretaking job, just like Eyas', was brilliant - especially since Chambers turned the profession into something nice and clean and very much unlike what we usually associate with it (hide spoiler)] . My favourite? I'll tell you about it in a minute. My favourite character was actually none of the big five but Tessa's dad. He was really cool. What I like about this series most of all is the tone. The people here, no matter their species, are thoughtful. And like I said: it's not about pewpew but about reflection. It's a quiet approach to science fiction, certainly, but maybe that is what makes it even more profound sometimes. This universe isn't peaceful and it isn't perfect, but many people in it have not only been through a lot but also reflect in wonderful ways about their own way of life and those of others, providing the reader with a different kind of exploration. In a way, this was about roots. Weird, since there aren't any in the Fleet, but it's true. We need to know where we come from in order to know who we are and where we want to go next (finding our place in the vastness of the galaxy). Remembering your people's history is important. And this book explores that line of thought, coming back to one species' beginnings, even explaining how humans left Earth and built the Fleet in the first place (Isabel telling that story was my favourite part of the book). I must admit that I didn't love this volume as much as the first and maybe there even is a slight difference to the second installment, but I really love what the author did with this series. Either we're all worthy or none of us are. It's all about respect.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hiu Gregg

    I'm not sure if I wanna write a very long review for this one, as there are some books that you just wanna kinda... keep for yourself. Those books that you don't want to sit and analyse, because you'd rather just enjoy the fact that you've just read a great book that really got you. Recor of a Spaceborn Few is a wonderful story that made me tear up a whole bunch of times. It's an exploration of humanity, and of what society could be... But on a very relatable level. It's a slice-of-life tale abou I'm not sure if I wanna write a very long review for this one, as there are some books that you just wanna kinda... keep for yourself. Those books that you don't want to sit and analyse, because you'd rather just enjoy the fact that you've just read a great book that really got you. Recor of a Spaceborn Few is a wonderful story that made me tear up a whole bunch of times. It's an exploration of humanity, and of what society could be... But on a very relatable level. It's a slice-of-life tale about the lives of a small cast of characters, their struggles, and their dreams. There's a kid trying to discover what he wants to do with his life. There's a young adult searching for a place to call home. There's a mother trying to care for herself and her family, and there's a woman who helps others grieve when the time comes. All of this is set against the backdrop of a truly "equal" society. There's no need for money, as everyone is provided the same food and standard of living. Nobody needs to work, but they do it for the good of their community. This is the life of the Exodan Fleet, a group of humans that lives in a giant honeycomb-like system of spaceships around a star. I'm making it sound like a perfect utopia, but the beauty of this setting is that it's anything but perfect. Resources may be allocated equally, but that just means that everyone has the same sparse lifestyle, without much in the way of luxuries. To the other species in the universe... the Exodan humans are almost seen as a charity case. Becky Chambers takes the time to explore the problems and challenges of the society she has created. She presents her world to the reader without judgement, and allows them to draw their own conclusions. This is a beautiful, shining little gem of a book. It's wholesome, tragic, thoughtful, and uplifting. Somehow all at once. It took me a little while to forge a connection with the characters, but when I got it... Man, did I care. This is a fantastic addition to the Wayfarers series, and if you're a fan of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet or A Closed and Common Orbit, you should pick this up immediately. My only complaint about Becky Chamber's books is that when they're finished... They're finished. I just want to read about these characters forever.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Appleby-Dean

    Honestly the most forward-thinking part of Becky Chambers' books isn't the convincing alien societies or the credible, well-developed technology but in daring to imagine a future society in which people are basically decent and caring towards one another.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Another more-or-less standalone in Becky Chambers wonderfully humanist space series. This one explores life in the Exodan fleet through the viewpoints of several inhabitants. Tessa is a cargo worker and mother of two precocious young kids. Sawyer is a young immigrant to the Exodan fleet looking for something different. Isabel is an elder, an archivist in a society built in remembering. Eyas is a caretaker, basically a cross between an undertaker and a gardener. Kip is a rebellious teenager lookin Another more-or-less standalone in Becky Chambers wonderfully humanist space series. This one explores life in the Exodan fleet through the viewpoints of several inhabitants. Tessa is a cargo worker and mother of two precocious young kids. Sawyer is a young immigrant to the Exodan fleet looking for something different. Isabel is an elder, an archivist in a society built in remembering. Eyas is a caretaker, basically a cross between an undertaker and a gardener. Kip is a rebellious teenager looking for meaning in his life but finding trouble in bad influences. Each have their challenges, successes and failures, as the book explores the Exodan culture through slices of their lives. The real star of this book is the intricate society of the Exodans themselves with well thought out and described reasons why everything is as it is and looking towards both the history of the society as well as its future. The viewpoint even extends to an alien visitor, an academic friend of Isabel. As a "future history" this books works wonderully with the author's trademark care for and between her characters. That being said, I didn't love this as much as the first two, but that was mainly because of the ordinariness of the view-point characters. While this is clearly part of the whole point, taking familiar characters and jobs and placing them in a very different context, it really didn't tickle my science-fictional appreciation as much as the previous book's concentration on AIs and aliens. There are a couple of points in the book that really stuck out for me, notably Isabel's discussion with Kip and Isabel's wife's discussion with the visiting alien academic. Both say some profound things about both this future human society and putting it into the context of the wider galactic civilization. Quiet, interesting and a pleasure to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Auntie Terror

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The third book of the Wayfarers series, if series is the right word for these losely connected books happening in the same universe, again focusses on a different kind of normal life: it felt the most human-centred so far as it mostly takes places on the Exodus Fleet, the conglomeration of enormous habitat ships, Homesteaders, which a big part of the human race used to leave their dying planet with. On the one hand, the basic idea of this kind of emergency take-off is quite frightening as we are The third book of the Wayfarers series, if series is the right word for these losely connected books happening in the same universe, again focusses on a different kind of normal life: it felt the most human-centred so far as it mostly takes places on the Exodus Fleet, the conglomeration of enormous habitat ships, Homesteaders, which a big part of the human race used to leave their dying planet with. On the one hand, the basic idea of this kind of emergency take-off is quite frightening as we are working hard on a future where we might have to do exactly that, or die out on poisoned Earth, if terraforming Mars doesn't work out as people seem to hope. On the other hand, the thought is hopeful - especially as Chambers outlines a new human society where many of the evils which now work towards us destroying our own home have been expelled by necessity and community. Of course, not everything is fine on the Exodus Fleet - the contact with other races has made space for new desires and dreams, many of the traditions of the Exodans seem obsolete, and many young people wish to leave. The reader learns about all this from various points of view: that of a teenager wishing to leave, that of a young man wishing to join, of a family (Ashby's family, by the way) who is faced with big changes, that of a highly esteemed Archivist who believes in the Fleet and her visiting Harmagian friend who is ever so fascinated by this way of life, and that of a "caretaker" who struggles with the difficulties her honoured profession brings. Ghuh'loloan, the visiting Harmagian ethnologist, is as "alien" as they come, and thus makes the contrast between insiders and outsiders very stark. Their contact, in parts, resembles that of and explorer and a very interesting indigenous tribe - and this is caused equally by both sides of the exchange. Amazingly, Sawyer, the young man who would want to join the Fleet, is treated no less as an outsider despite being of Exodan descent - which those he meets only realise when it is too late. The themes here are those of belonging, tradition and change, of "them" and "us". And as usually with the author, there is hurt, tremendous and deep, but in the end, there is a spark of hope that the things struggled with can be overcome, that there is a way.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    The first two in the series I loved to pieces. The sweetness, the writing, the message, all hit a spot. That’s why I eagerly awaited this last volume and what a disappointment turned out to be… I read up to 20% before I abandoned it. It should be character driven but there are just mundane actions of people born in space from generations which fled Earth. The beginning was promising, but after the catastrophe we advance 4 years in the future and the consequences of that event are left in the open. The first two in the series I loved to pieces. The sweetness, the writing, the message, all hit a spot. That’s why I eagerly awaited this last volume and what a disappointment turned out to be… I read up to 20% before I abandoned it. It should be character driven but there are just mundane actions of people born in space from generations which fled Earth. The beginning was promising, but after the catastrophe we advance 4 years in the future and the consequences of that event are left in the open. Perhaps it will have some significance further in the story but I lack the patience and interest to read on. The only thing I found to be original and of some significance is the fact that the titles of the 7 parts put together form a statement of sort: Part 1: From the Beginning Part 2: We Have Wandered Part 3: To This Day, We Wander Still Part 4: But for All Our Travels Part 5: We Are Not Lost Part 6: We Fly with Courage Part 7: And Will Undying Regretfully, this is the only reason for the 2nd star. Usually I do not rate books I have not finished and mark them as not-my-cup-of-coffee. However, this was supposed to be my favorite cup of coffee and I’m really disappointed for not getting it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sad Sunday (If I say it's bad, it's bad)

    DNF at 35% I gave up. Because... Nothing.... Ever......................... Happens..... The characters are scattered, there is no clear plot, just tons of mundane background and everyday life descriptions. But none of it moves the plot or characters forward. The tone and pace are meditative, relaxing, but it's just anthropologious study of alien-human life. The races and their lifestyle, appearance, culture were quite broadly introduced in the first two books, this one is once again a deeper look int DNF at 35% I gave up. Because... Nothing.... Ever......................... Happens..... The characters are scattered, there is no clear plot, just tons of mundane background and everyday life descriptions. But none of it moves the plot or characters forward. The tone and pace are meditative, relaxing, but it's just anthropologious study of alien-human life. The races and their lifestyle, appearance, culture were quite broadly introduced in the first two books, this one is once again a deeper look into how cool aliens are and how human see them (or as they see humans). The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is one of my all time favorites, but I had a rocky relationship with #2 and #3. Been waiting for this one eagerly, and as the chapter titles make a poem, I was really expecting something more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    [2.5/5 stars] Plot? What plot? I found this book very difficult to rate. On one hand, I really appreciate Chambers’ unique perspective and fearless, unapologetic outside-the-box approach to storytelling. It’s so different than anything I’ve ever read, and I kind of love that. So I feel it deserved more stars. However, I also had to take into account my own expectations and how much I actually enjoyed reading it… which is significantly less than I’d hoped. I saw many missed opportunities to improv [2.5/5 stars] Plot? What plot? I found this book very difficult to rate. On one hand, I really appreciate Chambers’ unique perspective and fearless, unapologetic outside-the-box approach to storytelling. It’s so different than anything I’ve ever read, and I kind of love that. So I feel it deserved more stars. However, I also had to take into account my own expectations and how much I actually enjoyed reading it… which is significantly less than I’d hoped. I saw many missed opportunities to improve the story – ones that would’ve kept the integrity of her original voice while providing a much more satisfactory experience (some things as simple as changing the names a bit so readers are less likely to mix up characters at the beginning. Others a little more difficult, such as adding a few periphery universe happenings to give the story a more rounded feel). Basically I’m applauding her for delivering something incredibly unexpected while at the same time criticizing her for not quite meeting my expectations… reviewing is hard lol. 2.5 stars it is. The book (and series) definitely generates more subjectivity conversations than most. For the record, I was on board with the first two books – enjoying the journey more than the destination – but definitely expected some sort of momentum build or culmination at this point in the series (especially since I’ve heard it’s the last book… it gets a little leeway if it’s not the last book). The composition was just so dang odd. The cool writing things it’s doing and the deep, casual-yet-profound character exploration makes the book beautiful. However all of that comes at the expense of developing an actual plot (okay, maybe there is one, but it’s so unconventional that nothing really comes together until the last 20% … but even then, you don’t get any conflicts on a wider scale as you did in the first book. There’s so much unused potential – I can’t get over feeling like these characters should be part of a grander scheme, even if it’s only a minor proximity. What’s more, it’s making me retroactively question my rating of the second book because, as it turns out, it has absolutely nothing to do with this one, and I kind of expected it to tie in somehow to help justify how much time we spent on it. Overall, I think Chambers’ unique perspective and unconventional voice will inspire a litany of new writers trying their hand at her original style. I think it’s brilliant and a breath of fresh air in a market that can sometimes get cookie-cutter. However, as far as recommending it goes, it all comes down to whether or not you can let go of expectations and just enjoy the ride. Admittedly I’m not the best at this, so I didn’t quite love it as much as I’ve seen others, however, I still appreciate everything in it fiercely. It may even tweak how I tackle my own stories. Series status: completed? I won’t be buying them for my collection, but I’m still glad I read them. Recommendations: the Wayfarers series feels like space opera at its finest, and I’d recommend it as worth your time as long as you don’t mind a book more focused on character dynamics than any compelling external conflicts. Some hardcore sci-fi fans might find it a bit fluffy, but I think most casual sci-fi fans will revel in its originality. Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com Other books you might like:

  22. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is the third book in a trilogy which is not really a trilogy, rather it is three books all set in the same universe but not a continuing story. I loved the first two books but this one did not really do it for me. Becky Chambers has a real talent for writing sympathetic characters, both human and not. By the end of the book I was really keen to see what happened to each of the major characters and was glad that all the loose ends were tied up nicely. However due to the way chapters jumped ar This is the third book in a trilogy which is not really a trilogy, rather it is three books all set in the same universe but not a continuing story. I loved the first two books but this one did not really do it for me. Becky Chambers has a real talent for writing sympathetic characters, both human and not. By the end of the book I was really keen to see what happened to each of the major characters and was glad that all the loose ends were tied up nicely. However due to the way chapters jumped around the mostly unrelated stories, I spent a lot of time trying to remember what had happened to each person earlier. Overall for me this was a pleasant, undemanding read but it was not in the same class as the two earlier books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elenora

    This early review is brought to you by fate and amazing luck! I work in a book store, and we were sent a proof for whoever might want to read it, and it had been tossed on the staff table. When, during a break, I glimpsed the title on the spine, half hidden under a stack of papers and other proofs, I shrieked, making everyone jump a bit out of their chairs, and dived for it. So hey, this is a proof review, but I didn't promise anyone an honest review! No matter, let me be entirely honest: Record This early review is brought to you by fate and amazing luck! I work in a book store, and we were sent a proof for whoever might want to read it, and it had been tossed on the staff table. When, during a break, I glimpsed the title on the spine, half hidden under a stack of papers and other proofs, I shrieked, making everyone jump a bit out of their chairs, and dived for it. So hey, this is a proof review, but I didn't promise anyone an honest review! No matter, let me be entirely honest: Record Of A Spaceborn Few may simply be Chamber's best novel yet. There, I said it. I think, having sat on it a couple of days, that it's her most mature work and it bests the first two books in that way. Now, hear me out. The Long Way was so far my favourite. I enjoyed Closed and Common Orbit, and cried a few times, but I felt that the MC was a little bit annoying in her endless adolescent struggle, and the book showed somehow that this was a full time, 9 months writing project, whilst the Long Way was a 10 years pet project. If I had to put things in numbers, my own rating would be like that : Long Way: 9/10 Common Orbit: 7/10 Spaceborn Few: 10/10 Now some details : We follow a lot of characters, in lots of short chapters. Sometimes the chapters are just 3-4 pages long. This gives everything a fast pace that makes the book super hard to put down. Spaceborn Few is also a full time author's work, but it has all of the heart of Long Way, plus two whole books writing experience. The prose was really good! Becky definitely found her voice, and man, is her dialogue amazing! In the Long Way (ok, now I'll use LW, CCO, etc.), I felt like the dialogue were sometimes a little bit exaggerated, especially the two comp techs. Plus the technique of introducing a character through reading their file is considered a sort of rookie technique. It worked, it gave a lot of charm to a strong debut novel... But Spaceborn Few has none of that : the dialogue is so vibrantly real, every character on the page sounds like someone you could get to know. A lot of humour had me laughing out loud in this book, and it's often delivered through the dialogue. The way the world building was handled was also fantastic. Again if you're looking for action packed space opera, the book will disappoint. However, please bring your tissues, cause crying, in a happy, contented way or just ugly or sad, happens a lot. The plot is very human, and explores themes that mean a lot to us now and will probably mean a lot to us still in thousands of years... Tradition and its change, the way we react to foreigners, what it all means, and how hard it can be to do the right thing, the role of parents, children, and most importantly: belonging, be it to a family, a society or a species. It was all handled with care, and man DID. I. CRY. Best of warm feelings though. I was so happy when the book ended, and so sad at the same time, because it's the end of a trilogy... You go READ THIS BOOK, as soon as you can! Do it! And when Becky Chambers comes to the UK to tour and sign, I'll hound her until I can ask the burning question of whether or not she's planning to keep writing in this universe... I wish she would, it'd be amazing... But at the same time, this book was amazing in and of itself, as I've been trying to explain, in such a way that I'm now entirely comfortable with the idea of Chambers starting something entirely different and new, and I'd still pick it up. I know now that even if she goes for a basic urban fantasy plot, she'll manage to create loveable, compelling characters in plots that are enthralling despite the lack of evil villains and the absence of world-ending consequences. Becky Chambers' work is a gulp of fresh air in sci fi we should all take. Thank you so much for this amazing trilogy, and waiting now eagerly to hand-sell your books like hot red coaster buns. Also for the day I get my beloved proof dedicated! And for your next work... Yes, so looking forward to your future as an author!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    look! at! the! cover! "But this is old history. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but outsiders have seldom seen. Exodans take great pride in their community and traditions, but the cultures from beyond their bulkheads have profoundly influenced their own. Those who have not yet left for alien cities and terrestrial colonies are left grappling with questions: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain among the stars when there are ha look! at! the! cover! "But this is old history. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but outsiders have seldom seen. Exodans take great pride in their community and traditions, but the cultures from beyond their bulkheads have profoundly influenced their own. Those who have not yet left for alien cities and terrestrial colonies are left grappling with questions: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain among the stars when there are habitable worlds within reach? How can they maintain their carefully balanced way of life — and is it worth saving at all? Record of a Spaceborn Few unravels this complicated reality through a cast of new voices: A young apprentice unsure of his future. A lifelong spacer who wonders if her children might be better suited for the ground. A planet-raised traveler. An alien academic. A caretaker for the dead. And of course, the Archivist, who ensures no one’s story is forgotten." The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - ★★★★★ A Closed and Common Orbit - TBD

  25. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    The first two books in this intriguing series were very much meditations on identity and how culture shapes us, rather than plot driven, and this one goes even further down that path. It's really mainly a series of snapshots over a few years of various characters in her Exodan culture (people still living on the spaceships they used to leave Earth) and though there is a linking plotline it's not a driving or compelling one. Which makes it all the more impressive that these books are so readable The first two books in this intriguing series were very much meditations on identity and how culture shapes us, rather than plot driven, and this one goes even further down that path. It's really mainly a series of snapshots over a few years of various characters in her Exodan culture (people still living on the spaceships they used to leave Earth) and though there is a linking plotline it's not a driving or compelling one. Which makes it all the more impressive that these books are so readable and immersive--you just want to spend time there, soaking it up. I felt this one tipped a bit too far, for me--I suddenly wondered why I was learning in depth about so many aspects of a completely imaginary place, which rather jolted me out of the immersion and left me with no story to hang on to. Still head and shoulders above much of what's published, but could have done with a stronger editorial hand at development stage to make it a completely satisfying read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Man did I pick a good time to read this book. Becky Chambers' books are fairly described as being warm hugs in book form, and that was exactly what I needed this week. There's not a huge amount of plot, just people. (Not necessarily human people, but people all the same.) They live their lives, they have their struggles and their triumphs. And it doesn't matter how big or small those struggles and triumphs are on an absolute scale, they're significant for the people involved. It reminds me of a mo Man did I pick a good time to read this book. Becky Chambers' books are fairly described as being warm hugs in book form, and that was exactly what I needed this week. There's not a huge amount of plot, just people. (Not necessarily human people, but people all the same.) They live their lives, they have their struggles and their triumphs. And it doesn't matter how big or small those struggles and triumphs are on an absolute scale, they're significant for the people involved. It reminds me of a moment from Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series. At one point a person who managed to live for centuries finally dies, and meets Death. He says something along the lines of "A few hundred years - I did pretty well, didn't I?" And Death responds with, "You had a lifetime - the same as everyone else."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read what amounts to a utopian vision of the future. Post apocalyptic and dealing with human angst and the ups and downs of family and community life, the story is more nuanced than it could have been. Once again Chambers describes and appeals to humanity ‘s better self.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This one didn't have much plot. It's mostly just about the lives of people on the fleet. I kept waiting and waiting for something more to happen, but it never did. It didn't feel like a slow read, it was just that there isn't really anything going on. I kept waiting for all the characters to meet up, or for some bad guy to enter the picture - sorry to spoil it for anyone, but none of that happens.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jon Adams

    Simply put, this is a beautiful book about life, in all it's many aspects. "From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we love. By the stars, we hope."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alice, as in Wonderland

    *SCREAMS* I am so ready to be devastatingly loved and buoyed by a book. THE TEARS ARE READY TO BE SHED.

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