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To Be Taught, If Fortunate

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of galaxy transform themselves.


At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth
Paperback, 144 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by Harper Voyager (first published August 8th 2019)
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4.24  · 
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 ·  25 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Oh look another book I need to add to my ever growing TBR!
Joanne Harris
This extraordinary novella proves that you don't have to write a long book to pack a big punch. Becky Chambers' writing gets better and better with everything she writes, and this is no exception. Every sentence is perfectly balanced without attracting unnecessary attention; characterization is subtle but effective; and the impact of the ending is everything I hoped it would be. A future sci-fi masterwork in a new and welcome tradition.
Natasha Ngan
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE MARTIAN meets INTERSTELLAR, this is high-concept speculative fic at its finest. Rendered with startling clarity, Chambers' latest offering is a short but fierce ode to humanity and all our reaches and flaws. Unputdownable.
Laura Lam
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Why did I make the mistake of reading this while I'm first drafting something.

Another beautiful offering from one of my favourite writers.
Jan 25, 2019 marked it as get-on-my-shelf-already  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released-2020
I already had this on my most-anticipated list before I even knew what it was but "EXPLORERS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM TRANSFORM THEMSELVES"!? GIMME NOW!
Jimi (Jimi Can Read)
3.5 stars for me. I didn't get on with the semi-conversational style for the first 30 pages or so, then got more into it. Definitely an intriguing and thought-provoking novella with a couple of compelling parts, but didn't quite do it for me overall.

Highly recommended for science nerds tho.
Preordered Signed Edition from Waterstones:
Ruth Brookes
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quietly nuanced & deceptively simple, To Be Taught, If Fortunate is both a beautifully compact, humane & moving piece of speculative-fiction, and a intelligent treatise on the ethics of exploration, the joy of scientific discovery & our collective responsibility to tread lightly as we venture forth.
Wonderful stuff.
Lady Brainsample
Pre-ordered on Amazon! September can't come soon enough.
Karen Martin
Apr 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
I've read the other books she's written and am looking forward to this one. Good stories so far!
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Thanks to massive advancements in science and technology, Ariadne and her 3 colleagues are sent to study 4 habitable planet and their ecology 15 light years away. Somaforming is the means that allows them to do so, a process where the astronauts are put into a sleep-like state while travelling, that slows down their aging and delivers synthetic biological supplements to their bodies to help with each different environment. The novella chronicles their journeys and the problems that arise for the ...more
Jun 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
PW Starred: With technical prowess and outstanding visceral imagery, Chambers (the Wayfarer Series) packs an immense amount of story into a novella worthy of full-length praise. Humans have begun to perfect the process of space exploration at the turn of the 22nd century with the use of somaforming, a technology allowing astronauts to survive under any conditions in the galaxy. With human fragility no longer a concern, astronaut Ariadne O’Neill and her explorer companions are sent to four distan ...more
Rhian Pritchard
Thoughtful, fun, terrifying, with all of the Chambers staples - a believable version of the future, loveable and larger than life characters, and the posing of a philosophical question that will mess you up if you think about it for too long late at night. All wrapped up, of course, in her trademark clear-eyed, simple prose that knows exactly where to stop between an insight and over-explaining.

Thank you, Hodder Books, for an ARC copy of this book
Bookphenomena (Micky)
Review to come, suffice it to say this was a spectacular read, with a very full story in a novella format.
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Becky Chambers is the author of the Wayfarers books, which currently include The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few. Her books have been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, among others, and won the Prix Julia Verlanger in 2017. She grew up in a family heavily involved in spac ...more