The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Wayfarers 1
By Becky Chambers
The astonishing self-published debut novel that Tor.com says ‘will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general).’Tweet
This book was amazing!!! It was funny, it was interesting and just a really nice feel-good read.
Until I read this book I thought I hated Science Fiction. John Wyndham was about my limit and I wasn’t overly comfortable with that. This book cannot be described as anything but Sci-fi but I was hooked from the first page.
The story is set on a ship which tunnels through space to create new pathways and the ship is manned by a crew of eight. It is very much a mixed race affair and all the characters are extremely well developed and mostly very likeable. Physical attributes peculiar to the character’s race are complemented by quirky personalities which define them as individuals. Their back stories emerge as the plot unfolds and I found myself really caring what happened to these crew members. Along the way they encounter other exotic creatures from both mainstream and fringe planets that they visit and these are equally well developed and unique.
In fact, whilst the book is set in space, it is not this aspect of the book which defines it. Characterisation is the driving force which, in my view, makes it so successful. Becky Chambers has a very creative imagination and the attention to detail regarding all aspects of life for any particular species is astounding - culture, sexuality, nutrition, disease and many more aspects of everyday life are covered in fascinating detail.
I seriously loved this book and it is impossible to explain how amazed I am to hear myself say that about a book that is quintessentially Sci-fi. Still, there you have it. I would recommend this book to anyone and will definitely be reading the sequel.
What an amazing book - one of the best I've read this year. Such brilliant world building, wonderful characters, I didn't want it to end.