The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
15
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Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers a bed, a chance to explore the galaxy, and some distance from her past. The crew is diverse: Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot; chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, the captain. They are offered a job tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. It's a lucrative job, but a host of unexpected mishaps force the crew to depend on each other.
Publisher: New York : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062444134
0062444131
Branch Call Number: SF CHAMBERS, BECKY
Characteristics: 443 pages ; 21 cm

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HCL_staff_reviews Aug 08, 2017

If you miss Firefly, I have a book for you. Take one large wormhole mining facility, a motley crew of different personalities and species and add a contract where the money is just a little too good and you have The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. There are a couple of places where an editor would have been helpful- this was originally a self-published novel, but the story more than makes up for it. Hilarious, scary, dramatic, fascinating- you want to read this book. -- Cassandra J., St. Anthony Library

s
Starpoem
Aug 06, 2017

If you like Star Trek from the Gene Roddenberry era, you'll probably like this book. The focus is on the delightful characters--a diverse crew on a starship. This book is a good choice for when you want to read sci fi but don't want anything too "heavy."

s
salperin
Jun 30, 2017

I found this book clunky and totally lacking in cohesion. The first half is a series of exposition all scenes trying to give deep, meaningful insight into each character. I found that they didn't feel at all real, but were desperate attempts to make you fall in love with the amazing characters the author had in their head.

I couldn't tell you about the second half, because I gave up and moved on.

y
yarrow_
Jun 02, 2017

I find this book fascinating and I am still trying to figure out why. First and perhaps most important, I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a book I enjoyed spending time reading--the characters, the worlds it describes and the things that happened to the characters. As a librarian I have a lot of experience in how to talk about books and their appeal and yet I find this book very hard to categorize. It defies generalization. It is not a romance. It is not action-adventure. I can say what it is not but I find it hard to say what it is. I can't even think of any other book that is quite like it. The closest comparison I can make is to a really good TV series--the kind where the story carries through the entire season with each episode enriching the characters and the world in which they exist but also containing great scenarios and situations in which the characters find themselves. It is a nice blend of happy, sad, exciting and even moving with passages that make you think--my favorite kind of read. A book not to be missed.

r
rukashaza5
May 06, 2017

We follow Rosemary Harper, who is running away from an unhappy life on Mars. She had a good education as an administrative clerk so the ship, The Wayfarer, an old space tunnel borer, hires her. The story follows this multi-species crew that learns to be a family through good and bad times. We learn about various species and outlier colonies and beings, and how humans such as Rosemary and Captain Ashby learn to tolerate, appreciate and respect each sapient being. The crew is kooky, each with issues, but they learn to get along and totally support each other. A very satisfying read.

c
chweeks
Mar 22, 2017

So far so great. About 3/4 through and still going strong. A fun, light, easy ready. Definitely not 'hard' sci-fi but some interesting concepts none the less. Definitely not space opera as the critical critic in the opinion section states. Not sure what mass of information bored her. I found the characters really fun and some of the deeper social questions regarding AI raised thoughtful and not heavy handed as i have seen in other works with similar themes. This book is about the journey, exactly as the title states, not the destination.

g
goddessbeth
Mar 09, 2017

Can I just say: Publishers, I am aghast that none of you picked this book up for publication, and Becky Chambers had to self-publish. This is beautiful scifi- an ensemble cast, all fully developed and quirky; realistic consideration for how humanity would actually handle sharing the universe (and a poisoned Earth) with other species; actually alien aliens; socioeconomic and morality issues; friendship, rivalry, romance, family, the whole rainbow of emotions.

Our introduction to the crew of the Wayfarer comes via new member Rosemary, which is a classic way (especially in TV) to introduce an audience to an established environment. But Rosemary isn't the MC- as we get deeper into the book, it becomes more episodic, with different parts following the challenges and journeys of each of the crew members. There's plenty of forward momentum, but it's exactly what I love with an ensemble cast- everyone gets the spotlight, and everyone gets a bit in someone else's story. Ultimately, this crew is friendship, the good and bad sides.

I can definitely see the comparison to Firefly, although there are key differences: other species (which I think were handled fantastically, in that they have a range of cultures and non-human ideals, and the humans have to be sensitive to that), more above-board work (they're space tunnelers, and the concept of how that works is fascinating but also easy for a non-aerospace person like me to grasp), more realistic science meets scifi, and wider themes (although we follow this plucky band of travelers, it isn't only about them and their adventures). Think of your favorite science fiction TV show. It's like that.

Overall, I recommend this for any and all fans of science fiction, especially space opera and episodic stories. I am so, so glad there's going to be more in the series. I'm not ready to leave these characters yet, and I can't wait to see what things await them as we go along.

afictionado Feb 13, 2017

Similar to Firefly in its episodic nature, with small adventures rather than large, and focussed on characters rather than having a racing plot. If you prefer something more fast-paced then this isn't for you, but if you're interested in an introspective, comforting sci fi read then give this a go.

Beatricksy Nov 26, 2016

This is a fantastic introduction to the space opera field (my first one, actually!) because it's so episodic. It feels a bit like watching a television show, giving each and every character a moment to shine individually before wrapping it all together in a series climax. It introduces lots of new ideas and feels distinctly alien, which is great. But I won't eat bugs. I don't care how much the author tries to make me eat them. I refuse.

LPL_KimberlyL Oct 06, 2016

An adventurous space opera novel with a wide variety of species, cultures, and planets never before explored. The characters are all so well-developed and interesting that they are almost impossible not to love. This is one of those books where after I finished, I immediately wanted to pick it up again for a re-read!

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