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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)
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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Greetings Space Opera Fans!

I'm a rabid browncoat, so anything 'ragtag group in space' is like the spice for me. How about you? Do your eyes glow blue with fun drama in space?

That's the premise behind The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers Becky Chambers

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 her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.


ARE YOU READING THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET? Shout it out in the discussion thread below, find some book buddies, and post your thoughts as you work your way through the book. Just remember to be kind and use the spoiler html so you don't ruin the fun for somebody who's not so far along.

Be epic!

Anna Erishkigal
SOF Borg Queen


Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments I'm buying this book next week. Super excited to start reading it. I've heard nothing but great things about it.


message 3: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) It sounds fun, which we all need more of. :-)


Jemima Pett | 151 comments Hey, a book already on my TBR! And now ordered from my library :) Looking forward to it.


Trike | 589 comments I really liked this book. Very much looking forward to the sequel.

My non-spoilery review.


message 6: by Les (last edited Jun 02, 2016 05:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Les | 53 comments I read this a little while ago. A well-written book. I hope you all enjoy it.


message 7: by Gaines (new) - added it

Gaines Post (gainespost) | 229 comments Does look like a fun book. I've had my eye on it for a while.


Amelia (ameliabaldwin) | 41 comments I am excited about this one! Hooray for getting me to read another new (to me) female author! This one has been on my to read list, now it's on my Kindle! Thank you!


message 9: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 2462 comments Mod
I read this last November and really liked it. I have started rereading and it is still enjoyable.


Trike | 589 comments Most libraries will order a book if you ask.


message 11: by Les (new) - rated it 4 stars

Les | 53 comments Hope wrote: "I want to read this but alas my library doesn't have it and the paperback doesn't come out until July? I don't really want to spend $10 on a kindle version when the paperback will be just a dollar ..."

I could lend you my copy of the ebook, I'm not currently reading it. Email me with your details nedu.japsi@mail.com


message 12: by E.M. (new)

E.M. Swift-Hook | 22 comments This looks so good I bumped it up my 'to read' list right away. From first impressions it is going to be a sweet ride!


Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 303 comments Hope wrote: "...I don't really want to spend $10 on a kindle version when the paperback will be just a dollar more..."

Are you sure it's $10? I've just picked this up for Kobo for £1.99 (about $3).


message 14: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 2462 comments Mod
Amazon is showing it as $9.99 right now, in the US


message 15: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) It's $9.99 at Kobo USA as well :-(


message 16: by Hailee (new) - added it

Hailee | 10 comments I already bought this book at the beginning of May. Looking forward to giving this a go. Luckily it's out in paperback in the UK already.


message 17: by Joon (new) - added it

Joon (everythingbeeps) I read this last year and liked it a lot. It's a bit unfocused, and at times feels more like a collection of stories featuring these characters. But I'll definitely keep reading anything the author puts out.


message 18: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 2462 comments Mod
I finished my reread. Definitely a keeper.


Jemima Pett | 151 comments Now have my book from the library - just have to finish a net-galley book first ;)


message 20: by Laz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 207 comments I read and enjoyed this. Pros and cons in my review.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 21: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 2462 comments Mod
A sequel is expected in October! A Closed and Common Orbit


Kirsten  (kmcripn) Hope wrote: "I want to read this but alas my library doesn't have it and the paperback doesn't come out until July? I don't really want to spend $10 on a kindle version when the paperback will be just a dollar ..."

I'm in the same boat. My library's copy will not arrive until July 5th. Anyone want to join me in a buddy read next month?


message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Remember that these posts only get moved DOWN into the PREVIOUS BOTM CLUB folder, not deleted, and they remain OPEN if you want to continue the book discussion.


message 24: by Gaines (last edited Jun 09, 2016 04:33PM) (new) - added it

Gaines Post (gainespost) | 229 comments Teresa wrote: "Amazon is showing it as $9.99 right now, in the US"

Probably means it costs AU$99,000 over on this side of the ocean. Crazy expensive just like everything else >.<


Juliana Rodrigues (julianamfrodrigues) | 12 comments I got the audio version of it. Planning to start it in a week. I'll come back to share my impressions as I listen to it.


Jemima Pett | 151 comments I started this today and am really enjoying it - especially the detailed descriptions of the alien species!


Juliana Rodrigues (julianamfrodrigues) | 12 comments Good to know you are enjoying it Jemima! I'll start it soon.


message 28: by Gaines (new) - added it

Gaines Post (gainespost) | 229 comments Jemima wrote: "I started this today and am really enjoying it - especially the detailed descriptions of the alien species!"

Gotta love detail :-)


message 29: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John G | 2 comments Hope I have time to read this before the end of June. Only started yesterday and lots of garden work is demanding my time.

So far, i.e. first few chapters, it reads smoothly. Really like the chronology terms used; that was inventive. And the tone of the dialogue is very agreeable.

This is the first group read in which I have participated. So I guess the discussion occurs more toward the end of the month?


Juliana Rodrigues (julianamfrodrigues) | 12 comments Jemima wrote: "I started this today and am really enjoying it - especially the detailed descriptions of the alien species!"

Ha! Now I gotta what you was talking about. The author put a lot of thoughts on the vatiety and evolution of species. I really liked how she made humans more adapted to the space living style.


Juliana Rodrigues (julianamfrodrigues) | 12 comments @John, I think we can discuss it as we read it too. I'm only a few chapters in too, so if you like we can share our thoughts as we go further.


Jemima Pett | 151 comments I've finished now. It had a slow spot in the middle, but a really exciting and gut-wrenching ending. I sometimes felt she'd gone overboard with the descriptions, which killed the pace in the middle, but then again, it's a long way to that small angry planet, and I've been wondering about boring my own readers with the tedium of space, too, so it was handy to see how someone else had dealt with it.
The space creatures and world-building (universe building) is incredible - possibly too detailed at times, although maybe that's just a different take on a literary approach to scifi. Maybe that will make it more appealing to a wider range of readers (those that don't read scifi because of the all-action approach). There are some good twists on ethical issues as well.
I really enjoyed it - a Goodreads 4 stars and an Amazon 5 from me, and I'm looking forward to her next book which is due to come out in October, according to the back pages in the UK paperback.


Emily What I loved about this book was that it took its time to world build. The title really does describe the book. Yes, there is a larger plot being served, but we get to spend a lot of time with the characters and different worlds. This had the feel of an anthology of short stories cleaned up to flow together. I mean that in a good way.


message 34: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John G | 2 comments Juliana wrote: "@John, I think we can discuss it as we read it too. I'm only a few chapters in too, so if you like we can share our thoughts as we go further."

Sure, that would be fun. However I now think it is unlikely I will be able to complete the book in the next week - just too much stuff going on.

My thoughts so far are that the dialogue which could easily have gotten too cute has maintained a consistent tone and avoided cheap jokes and witty repartee. This makes the exchanges seem more real to me. Also I enjoy the low key technology. That is a nice change from the techno stuff I usually read in Sci-Fi.


message 35: by Echo (new)

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 46 comments Teresa wrote: "A sequel is expected in October! A Closed and Common Orbit"
Its's definitely on my TBR...I think it preorders soon.


Mervi | 15 comments I'm almost finished and I also liked the book a lot. I agree that it sometimes feels like a collection of shorter stories, but I like short stories and anthologies, too, so it was nice. Like a season in a TV show. I really enjoyed the characters and the aliens.

The narrator of the audiobook does a great job with it.


Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 303 comments Just started this one and enjoying it so far...


Trike | 589 comments Andrew Chamberlain interviewed Becky Chambers for his podcast, The Creative Writer's Toolbelt.

Here's the specific episode: http://ajc-cwt-001.podomatic.com/entr...

I listened to it in my app, but I just checked and this plays on iPad, so I assume you can listen to it with any device or browser.


Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 303 comments I read the blurb for the sequel and it reveals how this book ends, which has spoilt the read. That'll teach me to get ahead of myself! I'm a third of the way through. Not much action, but plenty of character development. The mix of aliens reminds me a little of Farscape.


Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 303 comments I've finished this, though yet to write a review. Part of me liked it a lot, but I've come away from it thinking there was something missing. All the different personal dramas felt like sub-plots to the main story, except there wasn't one. For a 'road trip' story, I thought the ending was rather downbeat. I like the author's style, though. Has anyone else been reading this?


message 41: by Teresa, Plan B is in Effect (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teresa Carrigan | 2462 comments Mod
I reread it in June. It has the feel of a collection of short stories about the same people and I wouldn't be surprised if that was how it was written. The plot lacked something, but I loved the characters and particularly the different cultures they came from, so I still enjoyed reading the book.


Trike | 589 comments I linked to my review in #5.


Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments This is book is so goddamn cheery. I'm 206 pages in and nothing has happened other than really nice pirates. Is the entire book just the crew being nice to each other and everyone they see. Because right now it lacks tension of any kind. It's just everybody being nice to everybody.


Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments Not to spoil anything, but there is some tension later. At least some feelings other than "nice". Mostly it's a feel-good novel though, which is cool!


Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments nothing wrong with feel good novels, but I find it hard suspend disbelief when no one gets upset with anyone else. Corbin seems an afterthought, shoved into the story after it was written, so him being an asshole actually feels like he's nice.

The stories my daughter reads are feel good but have more tension than this one. The Never Girls, Clementine, Amelia Bedilia. They all have good messages but they all have some sort of tension based in reality.

The technical aspect of the writing in this story is great. Kept me entertained for over 200 pages, so Chambers is not lacking talent. I just don't get how a story with zero tension is so highly regarded.


Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments Well, finish the novel before you start wondering about that.


Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments Couldn't do it. If the novel ended at 200 pages, I would have rated it 4 stars and said it's great. But there's zero compelling reason for me to finish it. Too many other books to read. I guess I'll just be left wondering how a story with no interesting characters and no tension is so highly regarded.


Trike | 589 comments Jonathan wrote: "Couldn't do it. If the novel ended at 200 pages, I would have rated it 4 stars and said it's great. But there's zero compelling reason for me to finish it. Too many other books to read. I guess I'l..."

Life is too short to read books you don't like, but even I liked it, and I'm known as The Guy Who Hates Everything.

This book is different from most other novels in that it's filled with positivity. I found that quite refreshing. It also reminded me of Ancillary Justice in that the first 3/4 is character development and worldbuilding that's absolutely necessary to understand what happens at the end. The story would be far less satisfying if we didn't know these people.


Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments Jonathan wrote: "Couldn't do it. If the novel ended at 200 pages, I would have rated it 4 stars and said it's great. But there's zero compelling reason for me to finish it. Too many other books to read. I guess I'll just be left wondering how a story with no interesting characters and no tension is so highly regarded."

Well, I did tell you earlier that there is, in fact, tension later in the book.


message 50: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 31, 2016 04:06AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments Trike wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Couldn't do it. If the novel ended at 200 pages, I would have rated it 4 stars and said it's great. But there's zero compelling reason for me to finish it. Too many other books to ..."

That's the thing. The characters in The Long Way... are utterly insipid. Banal. Pedestrian. Not interesting. The lack of conflict makes it so every character is the same person with different names. The sameness is such that whenever Chambers tries to make the aliens be aliens, it comes off as stealing from a pulp novel like she stole the mechanic from Firefly. Even the writing seems like she's looking at someone else's work as she types on her computer.

This is a book, like Dune, that people rave about and I will truly not understand why people do.

I've tried to read Ancillary Justice. I enjoy it, but I find it super dense. One day I'll go back to it and finish it.


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