I absolutely loved Becky Chambers' 'The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/11/i-absolutely-loved-becky-chamb.html


Honestly, it’s a good book, but IMHO it’s the weakest of the trilogy. The next book, A Closed and Common Orbit, takes the same world and delves into the best story in the trilogy. The closer, We Spaceborn Few, gives a much better system-wide view of humanity’s diaspora that really examine a lot of points, etc. What’s nice is that there’s just about no overlap between the three books, so you can pretty safely read them in any order without being lost, or having anything spoiled. I highly recommend the entire series.


Awesome. It’s added to my list. Thanks @jlw for the heads up, and @Aeroplane for the second opinion.

Second book has had me cry once or twice and I’m about 60% of the way through.


Huh. I really enjoyed the first one, also enjoyed the second one, and found the last one to be just unreadably tedious. I kept expecting it to get better, and it did not get better–the characters never engaged me, and I’d say that the narrative never engaged me either except that I never found one.

But I’m happy you liked it!


I’ve loved all three. At this point, anything Chambers writes is going in my “Purchase Immediately and at Full Price” wishlist.


I really enjoyed it at first, but as I went on it became more and more clear that there was basically only the thinnest veneer of plot and the main interest was writing snappy dialog. The author was clearly okay with that, and obviously so are a lot of readers, but it just started to bore the hell out of me by the end.

Just to clarify, I don’t mean to dunk on it at all. It’s a good book! But the other two are even better.

Fair enough, however I’m not a person that’s comfortable starting a series in the middle. So I’ll look forward to all three when I get some reading time.

While I think they all “stand alone” the servings is markedly better having read the first. Lots of holes will be filled in, etc.

I enjoyed it, but I agree, the plot was thin. The world building was great. Give A Closed and Common Orbit a try. That one has a really compelling plot, I think. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

I saw all the love given to this book and gave it a read. To be honest, I felt underwhelmed by book 1 and was going to give book 2 a pass until I saw the praise in this thread for it. While the author absolutely painted clear images in my head of the universe they live in, the ship, its crew, I can only claim a vaguely superficial understanding of the characters.

By the end, I didn’t really feel like anything had “happened” in a way, if that makes sense? There are “developments” that occur to each crew member, but the character states before each individual “development” or “reveal” or what have you had not been given enough time to breath and grow and plant their roots in my mind. As such, the character states after each “development” came off as just “refinements to the initial introduction” and so did not carry with them the emotional weight they deserved.

All of that off my chest, I didn’t hate the book at all. But the immense praise is also a little baffling to me. But it was light-hearted and a quick read, so I’ll give book 2 a shot and see if my feelings change.

I’ve really enjoyed all three books, but they’re not ‘exciting’. Whilst plot does happen, it’s secondary to the characters. If you want excitement go read The Expanse (which is also a great series, but different), Chambers’ books are for if you fancy hanging out in space with a bunch of interesting personalities.

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It made me feel … nostalgic. I grew up on the Norton juveniles, and this had a lot of the same feel. The Zacathans weren’t polyamorous communitarians, and there weren’t burnt off worlds with esper-active Forerunner artifacts, but it took me to the same place. Becky Chambers is a delight, and I hope she writes many, many books.

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I enjoyed the first one. I only recently found out about the sequels, which I’ll have to look up.

I’m weirdly resistant to e-books. I’ll buy them and put them on my tablet and they’ll just stay there; sometimes it takes an event like a long trip to get me to dig in.

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I prefer ebooks now. Took a long time but paper books now feel like nuisance.


I was not a fan at first. Not quite a “you’ll take my paper books out of my cold dead hands”, but the nostalgia is deeply entrenched, and paper is more archival. Plus, early e-ink readers had poor contrast and no-built in light - they were harder to read than a real book. But now, with readers for my phone, tablet and computer, good e-ink e-readers, and decent text to speech available, the utility is just too hard for me to ignore.

Yup. The “I have no book with me, but am stuck waiting for 30 minutes. Lets sync my phone.” is wonderful.

Having 20+ books with me on a dive boat in the middle of the Pacific with no network, that only took up one Kindle’s space in my bag? PRICELESS.


Twenty? Is that all? I’ve got over five hundred, split across iBooks, Kindle and a couple of other ereader apps. I love dead tree books, I’ve got many, many hardcover and softcover books, going back to the early 70’s, but as you say, the ability to carry on with a book when any opportunity presents, at lunch, a ten minute break, while having a coffee in town, and carrying on where I left off on my pad at home is just great use of technology. My real books are far too valuable to me to risk getting damaged carrying them around.
Some are actually valuable, my signed Terry Pratchett books, and my hardcover copy of ‘Goid Omens’ signed by Terry and Neil will never leave the house!
That’s the other great thing about real books, meeting authors and getting books sign, doesn’t work with a Kindle!

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I have a couple hundred on the device but un-read at any time? probably 20-30.

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