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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

(Wayfarers #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  56,453 ratings  ·  9,628 reviews
Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

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
Paperback, 404 pages
Published August 13th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published July 29th 2014)
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Jeanie It reminded me of an amalgamation of both Farscape and Firefly. In other words, if you liked those TV shows, you might find this enjoyable. There was…moreIt reminded me of an amalgamation of both Farscape and Firefly. In other words, if you liked those TV shows, you might find this enjoyable. There was very good world building, good alien characters and engaging story line.(less)
Phillip Sawyer frequent f words and others and some inter-species sex but not explicit.

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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  56,453 ratings  ·  9,628 reviews

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Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10 reasons I love The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet:

1. Feel-good science fiction. Bad things happen. Injustice exists. And yet, the world is a mostly beautiful and good place. Bad people exist, but people in general are mostly nice and almost always interesting. It’s a truly heart-warming novel.

2. It’s a great big world. There are all these interesting alien species, with interesting cultures and history which affect their society. If you love well-written settings where the lore isn’t a bunc
Chaima ✨ شيماء
I heard this book was about gays in space. I'm gay and I think space is cool. Seems like a no brainer.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This was really, really not my cup of tea and I threw in the towel 2/3 of the way in. I was surprised at how disappointing it was given that I picked it up on the basis of the normally dependable Adam Roberts' recommendation in his end of year 2015 round-up in the Guardian.

I understand the desire to move SF from plot-driven narratives to character-driven narratives but you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater if your character-driven narrative doesn't actually contain any cha
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US 5/19/19

I freaking loved this book! And yes, I cried! It was good crying though!

I always get nervous reading a sci-fi book because I'm afraid I won't know what's going on - and yes I say that every time. BUT <--- this book is so awesome. A couple of things went over my head but who cares!

I had no clue what a sci-fi soap opera was but if they are all like this book then I want to read more. I'm going to be buying this one and I did pre-order the next book!

This isn't just some sp

“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.”

This is the kind of book that makes you remember why you fell in love with reading. This is the kind of book that feels so powerful you can’t believe it exists. This is the kind of book that sets your very soul on fire and makes you want to do better. This is the kind of book that ins
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to me as a cure for the heavy, blood and guts diet that's so prevalent in today's SF/F, I was more than just a little bit interested in an antidote.

What I found, instead, was a heartily tasty meal of perfectly prepared insects aboard the Wayfarer, enjoying wonderful conversations and a surprisingly diverse collection of humans, aliens, and a truly beautiful soul within an AI.

I mean, this is space-opera. Don't get the wrong idea. There's a couple of tight spots
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 8/9/18: I’m crying in a puddle of my feels. I love this book so damn much. JENKS ❤😭

Original review 11/23/16: I have just completed reading my favorite book of all time. There has never been a book to touch me as much as this one did. I just. I can't. I'm like. Spent. I cannot even comprehend or articulate how much I loved this fucking book. Oh my god
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to carol. by: Paul Sparks
Niceness is undervalued. In an age of cynicism, we believe very little is done altruistically: this politician is facilitating an international adoption for campaign-fodder; that site is offering $1.99 books to boost web traffic; that church is holding a Sunday neighborhood BBQ to evangelize. Our stories show similar cynicism. We've embraced tortured dark heroes, we give five stars to stories sympathizing with killers and rapists, and although we believe a good guy can still win, the only way he ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2016
3.5 stars

If you're looking for an action-packed, page-turning adventure story, this book is not for you. However, if you want a sci-fi novel that delivers wonderful characters and thoughtful commentary on existence, you've found the right book.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is something unique. It blends literary and science fictions into a story that looks at what it means to be human--or alien--amidst a world of chaos.

And while I really enjoyed reading about these chara/>The
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4.5 A great feel-good sci-fi and character-driven story that explores gender, race, politics, and sexuality.
There were some great friendships, I giggled a few times and it was an oddly relaxing read!

I need to pick up the next one!
May 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
DNF@ 60%

I went with huge expectations. In blurbs comparisons where made to Ursula Le Guin and Firefly mention those two is sure ways to get my undivided attention. Sadly this book is nothing like my favorite tv show and it's nowhere near of depth of Le Guin's books.
If I had to describe this book to anyone I would call it cross between Farscape and Disney fairytale.
I did have some fun with it but around 60% of this book amount of sweetness and cheeseness become overwhelming. Ch
Charlotte May
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Humans, we’ve got something dangerous in us. We almost destroyed ourselves because of it.”

4.5 stars ⭐
Outstanding! I’ve officially been converted to sci fi!

Until this book I’ve never enjoyed sci fi. This has completely changed my view of sci fi and it is flipping awesome!

Some of the most imaginative world building and characterisations I’ve ever come across. The crew of the Wayfarer were amazing and I loved them all in their own way. The relationships were fantastic, both platoni
Welcome to the Starship Ned Flanders.

Seriously though, while the central ship in The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is actually named The Wayfarer almost everyone in the book is so cloyingly sweet that the name of the Simpsons' archetypal nice guy seems like a better fit. There's friendly Captain Flanders, chirpy lady engineer Flanders, friendly dwarf Flanders... you get the idea. Even the ship AI is a little Flandersesque.

Everybody seems to want to be everyone else's bestie (with the exception of the o
Kevin Kelsey
Posted at Heradas

I’ve never read a book quite like this. There wasn’t much of a story at all, but it was still engaging just on the strength of the characters alone. Each chapter felt like a moral-of-the-week episode in a nineties TV series. The overall arc is more about the characters and how their relationships change over time than any actual describable narrative.

That all sounds kind of negative when I read it back, but it’s not meant to be. Mostly I’m just impressed with how w
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4.5 Stars

“All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.”

Before picking this up, I knew nothing about it—except slow-burn, found-family in space. And honestly that’s half my reading tastes in one sentence.

But what I didn’t know (and what elevated this book to ‘awesome’ status for me) is its quietly and/>
April (Aprilius Maximus)
1.) The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet ★★★★★
2.) A Closed and Common Orbit ★★★★.5
3.) Record Of A Spaceborn Few ★★


Elise (TheBookishActress)
There's so, so much I want to say right now, and I want you all to know: this review can't do this book justice. There's no way to perfectly review one of the most complex, meditative books I've ever read.

This is not a book for those who like action-packed scifi. Rather, it's for those who enjoy meditative stories. Chambers has written far more thoughtful scifi than most authors attempt. This is such a thoughtfully built world, incorporating themes we can recognize from our own world. Nothing here is underde
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi Character Based Story Fans
I had been hearing a lot about this book from some booktubers I follow. Surprisingly, that is the only place I had heard about this – I don’t remember seeing it in my Goodreads feed when others were reading it. But, since a few people said it was their favorite book they read last year, I figured it was worth giving it a try.

Whenever I dig into a Sci-Fi or Fantasy novel, I usually find the new world a bit difficult to get into. That was honestly the case with this book as well; lots
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Post originally from the booksandpieces blog.

I tried to write a coherent review but all I can say is I LOVE IT WITH ALL MY HEART.

I love the universe that has been created, the elegant way it is created through little details of life and habits. I love the food and the soap and wine and small intricacies of life in space rather than just war in space.
I love the interaction of the alien species, the coming together, the falling aparts, and the (mis)understandings.
I love the characters, their complex
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
Going for £0.99 on Amazon Kindle UK right now! Grab it while you can!

Characterization. This is how you do it.

This books was SO well written. It felt so real.

Don't go in expecting space battles and an epic space opera. Go in expecting superb characters (many of which are aliens) against the backdrop of space.

Loved it.

Althea Ann
Jun 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The sequel to this was a Hugo nominee, so I figured I'd start with the first one, and requested it from the library. Well, maybe the sequel was a lot better, but unless I am assured of such a circumstance by a large and passionate crowd; I'm unlikely to bother to find out.

"The Long Way..." is a concept piece. It's a reaction to traditional space opera. In a "normal" sci-fi adventure, the scrappy crew of the "Wayfarer" would end up getting pulled into some kind of conflict bigger than themselves
✨    jamieson   ✨
There was a nebula there, an explosion of dust and light, the fiery corpse of an ancient giant. Within the gaseous folds slept clusters of unborn stars, shining softly.
She took an inventory of her body. She felt her breath, her blood, the ties binding it all together. Every piece, down to the last atom had been made out here, flung through the open in a moment of violence, until they swirled round and round, churning and coalescing, becoming heavy, weighing each other down.

But not any more, t
3/5 ★★★

"A black hole was the perfect place to contemplate death. There was nothing in the universe that could last forever. Not stars. Not matter. Nothing.”

This book had me on the fence for either a three or four star rating, I settled for 3.5 right smack bang in the middle. Haha.
I'm going keep this review short & sweet.


“It was
This book was definitely unlike anything I have ever read before.
It is a sci-fi about the crew on a spaceship called The Wayfarer. But don't go into this book expecting an action-packed space adventure. This is a completely character driven book that explores gender, sexuality, race and politics in the most beautiful way.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2016
4.5 stars!
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25ish stars.

Somehow this manages to be both sweet and hardcore at the same time. Its characters are people I want to knock a few back with and I don't even drink. Chambers has made them each awesome in their own ways without trying too hard. They're not cool in the way that literary heroes (superheroes, public heroes, unsung heroes, etc.) typically are. They're just legitimately good people who do what they do and watch out for their own. It's refreshing.

It doesn't even bother me
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
This was so god-damn boring.

I have taken like two weeks to read this. I cringe when I open my e-reader and it automatically loads to this novel.

I can totally understand why people would love this book and if it had even a smidge of actual dramatic tension I would have loved it.

The world building was interesting and detailed. It is not only well- thought out, it is thought-provoking.

So why two stars? There is no dramatic thru- line.

What do I mean by this? Questions, mysteries and potential dramas get introduced and are almost immediately
TS Chan
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the most endearing and charming novels that I've ever read.

I've had this book for quite a while but never got around to reading it. From all the reviews I've seen, I got the idea that it is one of those stories which the focus is around the characters instead of the plot and I wasn't sure how I would feel about that. Perhaps I happened to pick this up at the right time, because I absolutely adored this captivating story of individuals just interacting with each other, and as a tight-knit m
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
I did receive this book for free from the publisher but in no way does that affect my thoughts or review (I genuinely loved it!)

This book is BRILLIANT and I have to say it's instantly become 'THE' book recommendation I will be giving out to people whenever they ask which Sci-fi books I would recommend. This is only the third time I have given a 5* rating to a sci-fi book as I do personally read a lot more fantasy than sci-fi, but this was just perfect for me and it was truly a repres
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Wow, this book was downright cheerful! Is that allowed in sci-fi? It totally should be.

A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is definitely a character-driven story. There is a loose plot, but 90% of the focus is on the relationships between the characters. In my eyes, it’s the epitome of a true space opera. I found a lot of enjoyment out of just relaxing into the characters and letting them make me laugh. I don’t think I’ve ever read a lighthearted sci-fi that wasn’t over-the-top cheeky (like Hitchhike
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Becky Chambers is a science fiction author based in Northern California. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning Wayfarers series, which currently includes The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few. Her books have also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Locus Award, and the Women's Prize for Fiction, among others. Her most ...more

Other books in the series

Wayfarers (3 books)
  • A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)
“Ninety percent of all problems are caused by people being assholes.”
“What causes the other ten percent?” asked Kizzy.
“Natural disasters,” said Nib.”
“All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.” 138 likes
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