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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)
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BotM Discussion - SCI-FI > The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet / Overall Discussion / **SPOILERS**

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Tony Flemings | 12 comments Where to start. I joined this group about a week ago and I started this book immediately. I have never read a SF book in my life. This book was an absolute joy to read. So much so that the fantasy BoTM is hard for me to get into. Chambers tackled some tough issues such as bigotry and sexuality with grace and understanding. I am looking forward to taking part in this discussion. I plan on submitting a review for this book in the near future.


message 2: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul | 3571 comments Mod
Glad you enjoyed it. I will be starting it on Monday I think


message 3: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (last edited Jul 01, 2016 06:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1898 comments Mod
Tony, so glad to hear that your first book with us has been a hit!

I read this book very recently and immediately wanted everyone to read it!! So i'm really glad that it won.

I really enjoyed the way that she made some really well thought out races which felt like they had depth, not just "she was a blue alien and she didn't like the cold" and then that was as much as you got, but real cultural depth. I think learning the cultures and quirks of the races throughout the book was one of the real joys for me. They were just so interesting. I also thought her foray into LGBT issues was intelligently done, sex/gender isn't straight forward in real life, why should it be in alien life - whether we are talking about Sissix and her relationships or Jenks and his (plus everything else in between). It's refreshing to see, well played Chambers, well played.

It was exciting, and beautiful, and it captured my heart! #lovewins

I am looking forward to A Closed and Common Orbit!

Favourite characters everyone??

Sissix was mine!


Tony Flemings | 12 comments I really liked Kizzy. I was just drawn to her.

However my favorite part of the book was the exchange between Rosemary and Sissix as they worked out their coupling. My wife and I are very active proponents of gay rights and Chambers really did a good job of focusing the audience on the energy between the two characters instead of the fact that they were both female. Once I figured out where it was going I really found myself pulling for them. Chambers doubled down on interracial couples too, so added bonus.

I honestly think this is one of the best books that I have ever read. I laughed out loud in parts and other parts moved me to tears.

Love always wins.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments I had to order a copy and it should be arriving after the 5th.


Greg | 1138 comments Veronica wrote: "I had to order a copy and it should be arriving after the 5th."

Ditto Veronica!


Shawnie | 2022 comments My library ebook copy is available, and I have to finish it in 15 days before it expires and disappears. :)


message 8: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1898 comments Mod
I'm sure you'll manage it Shawnie! I completely gobbled it up, couldn't stop reading!


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments Shawnie wrote: "My library ebook copy is available, and I have to finish it in 15 days before it expires and disappears. :)"

Sounds like good motivation to me.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments Greg wrote: "Veronica wrote: "I had to order a copy and it should be arriving after the 5th."

Ditto Veronica!"


Since we've both started the other BoTM selection, maybe we can get through that one in the meantime. :-)


Sarah | 641 comments I decided to use the credit I had gotten for ebooks on Amazon to buy the ebook.

I want to finish up The Aeronaut's Windlass this weekend, then hopefully I can get into this one next.


Pattie I have finally finished this book. I agree with Tony that Kizzy is awesome. She reminds me of a less innocent Kaylee from Firefly. I also really liked Sissex and the whole Aandresk species


Fannie D'Ascola | 478 comments I really loved that book. I finished it 2 days ago and it was a fast read. I like the interractions between the crew and how everyone is good still not perfect.

Favorite character is Ashby for me.


message 14: by Xil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Xil (zerl) | 2 comments This was a fun, fast read. Sissix was definitely my favorite. Rosemary was not a particularly strong character, and detracted a bit for me.


message 15: by Myriel (last edited Jul 05, 2016 05:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Myriel | 13 comments I started with this book yesterday evening and only managed the first two chapters before I fall asleep. The beginning is promising although I'm a bit irritated regarding the age of the captain. I'm not sure why but I thought this would be more a typical YA/all age novel and then I get a grown-up captain who handles his valuable, but very difficult crewmate really skillful. The first impression of him is more that of a politician then of the captain of a spaceship.

Hope that I can read some more pages today.


message 16: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick | 110 comments This book shouldn't work. It reminded me in some ways of the trader's tales audio series (quarter share, half share etc) - the book is focused on ship-board life, on the people, and the plot is almost a side-note. At times, it seems to float lazily along as if the story itself were in zero-g, and breaks all of the conventional wisdom about conflict and pacing.

Wow it's fantastic. I just want to go live there, I enjoyed every second and had trouble putting it down.

Only trouble is, after that, i'm not really in the mood for fantasy so the other botm will have to wait. I'll have to go digging for more sci-fi.


message 17: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1898 comments Mod
Nick I read leviathan wakes, the Martian and the long way all around a similar sort of time - really enjoyed them all - I also just didn't want to leave sci fi for a while!! So if you haven't already, I'd deffo recommend them.


message 18: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick | 110 comments Haven't read the martian yet... there was a lot of hype around the movie and stuff and I tend to shy away fairly reflexively from that ;) I have read Leviathan Wakes though (and all the following novels in that series), big fan of the expanse.

I'd recommend the traders tales to anyone who likes Long Way actually, it was the only thing that really sprung to mind... they are quite different, but they both have similar focus' in some ways. Not sure if it's available as a book, I listened to it as an audio serial years ago at podiobooks.


message 19: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1898 comments Mod
Totally with you re the Martian. I've avoided it up until now, I think I generally worry I'll be disappointed by the hype. I picked it up on a whim as id bought it on kindle for 99p a good while back. I really really enjoyed it though! I only read it a month or so ago. I really do recommend it though. The writing is brill and it's just all round good.

I'll check out your recommendation. Sounds good!


message 20: by Tony (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tony Flemings | 12 comments I agree with Elizabeth about Rosemary. I thought that she was really just there for the most part. Nick I had the same thought about this book in that the plot was secondary and that the point was the journey and not the destination. I chalked it up to the genre change for me. Being an exclusive fantasy reader until this book and most fantasy books being all in your face "the world will end if we don't find this trinket, kill this demon, slay the dragon, etc" I just let the thought leave. As I look around in this group I find that this book was probably remarkable in that regard.


message 21: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick | 110 comments It is, even in science fiction the general wisdom of "more conflict, more pace, moving forwards". The big doorstops can move at a more meandering pace, much as the doorstop fantasies' can, but it's rare to find a book that really treats it's plot as of definite secondary importance - and even rarer to find one that can do it while remaining engaging and entertaining.

I'm looking forward to her next book, but was a little disappointed to find out it wont be focusing on the wayfarer. It looks like the focus will be Lovelace the second and her adventures in body kitting.


Jessica | 432 comments Just got my copy from the library, and as soon as I finish my current book I will be joining in! Kind of excited about this one!


Andrew I was really looking forward to this one, but I did not love it. I didn't hate it either. There's a lot to like! This is one of those times where half-stars would be great for me, but I bumped it up to 4-stars because I do love the concentrations: very character driven, and "Mass Effect-style" cultural idiosyncrasies explored.

However even though I LOVE compelling character dynamic, I really could have used more plot and less superfluous exposition (imo) on peripheral characters and cultures and the like. Or maybe the same percentage breakdown but with lots of editing on length.

I also have a problem when sci-fi isn't being over-the-top, I have trouble understanding when I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief on technological and biological possibilities/likelihoods. I suppose "Always! Just have fun!" is a good rule, but I can't help it lol

My favorite was Jenks and Lovey!

I thought Ashby and Rosemary were nice enough but kind of bland.

omg.....I hated, hated, HATED Kizzy! LOL I suppose she's a character you love or hate, and maybe even seems to be having a rate of 99% love, but I hated her. I really like offbeat, quirky, weird, cute characters. She just felt like such a hard, and false, push on being such a character. I cringed and gritted my teeth every moment she spoke. She reminds me of people I have known irl. They spend way too much effort trying to portray themselves as the quirkaholic star of Unique Town, monopolizing every moment of conversation to showcase their utterly "accidental" whimsy that they "don't even notice". Because it's by accident, really. -_- (Cue the awkward moment when people say she reminds them of themselves! :D )

Glad many people liked the character. Wish I did half as much! Would have made many chapters much more tolerable lol


message 24: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul | 3571 comments Mod
Finished this morning.
Quite a slow burner, with pretty much little action or major story. Despite that I really did enjoy it.
I really liked her well thought out species, the well developed push on understanding very different approaches to life and pretty much everything that makes it up.
I pretty much liked most of the characters but agree the Jenks probably edges it but only just from Dr Chef.
Some intriguing love stories thrown in .
So despite the lack of action it really challenges the way you think over and over.
Definitely an interesting book


message 25: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn | 1148 comments I loved this book! I loved the characters but I also loved that the book was not just about the humans. I started the book expecting the usual sci-fi serving of blood and battles but was pleasantly surprised to find the ship is gun free. It's a story about relationships, alien, human and synthetic, that had me laughing and crying along with the fantastic characters. I loved them all, no way could I pick a favorite!


message 26: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul | 3571 comments Mod
Such a human think to pick a favourite ;-)


message 27: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 3008 comments Mod
The library is still waiting for their order to arrive. It was just released a couple days ago.


message 28: by Greg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Greg | 1138 comments My copy finally arrived in the mail - will hopefully start soon.


Sarah | 641 comments It would take a lot for me to ever love an AI as much as I love JARVIS, but Lovey is coming pretty close second.


message 30: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul | 3571 comments Mod
She is very good. Don't forget Holly in Red Dwarf though


Sarah | 641 comments Paul wrote: "She is very good. Don't forget Holly in Red Dwarf though"

Actually, I've never seen Red Dwarf.


message 32: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul | 3571 comments Mod
Oh no ;-)


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert (sideshowbob) I have only just joined your group and have already put the books for the month on my ereader. I set a personal challenge for myself to read 50 books this year before I joined. I'm currently at 26 and after joining your club, I don't think it will be any problem to achieve it.
I look forward to posting comments and reviews as I read. And speaking of...off I go to start.


message 34: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn | 1148 comments No! you Need to watch Red Dwarf! That Holly is played by two comedienne's just says it all. Laughed myself silly over the episode with the toaster ;-)


message 35: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn | 1148 comments Robert wrote: I set a personal challenge for myself to read 50 books this year before I joined. I'm currently at 26 and after joining your club, I don't think it will be any problem to achieve it.

No, we can pretty much guarantee that!
The only problem will be keeping your to-read list below social life threatening levels ;-)


message 36: by Lel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lel (lelspear) | 1963 comments Im in love with this book. I have to say I got pretty angry this morning when I had to stop reading and start work. I normally get a little bit frustrated cause I would rather read than work. But this morning I was proper angry! I had about 30 pages left. It was sooo cruel.

I loved all the characters. Even Corbin, who in the beginning, I just wanted to slap. What do people think about what he did to Ohan? I can't decide whether to love him or hate him for the act.

Kizzy is one of those characters that makes me laugh and I love to read about but would actually in real life drive me up the wall! She seems to be on a permanent sugar rush.

I dont think that I can pick a fav character although Kizzy and Sissix are close to the top. Cannot wait till the next one!


message 37: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 3008 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Paul wrote: "She is very good. Don't forget Holly in Red Dwarf though"

Actually, I've never seen Red Dwarf."


:O What?? It's a must-see. If you've seen the Harry Potter movies, you have to see Mark Williams acting like an idiot.


message 38: by Sarah (last edited Jul 13, 2016 01:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah | 641 comments Dawn wrote: "No! you Need to watch Red Dwarf! That Holly is played by two comedienne's just says it all. Laughed myself silly over the episode with the toaster ;-)"

Audrey wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Paul wrote: "She is very good. Don't forget Holly in Red Dwarf though"

Actually, I've never seen Red Dwarf."

:O What?? It's a must-see. If you've seen the Harry Potter movies, you h..."


Ok, so Red Dwarf goes on the must watch list!

Dawn wrote: "Robert wrote: I set a personal challenge for myself to read 50 books this year before I joined. I'm currently at 26 and after joining your club, I don't think it will be any problem to achieve it.
..."


Social life? What is this social life you speak of?

Lel wrote: "Im in love with this book. I have to say I got pretty angry this morning when I had to stop reading and start work. I normally get a little bit frustrated cause I would rather read than work. But t..."

I stayed up until nearly 2am Saturday to finish The Aeronaut's Windlass. I had hit the point of the book where I was going to finish it before doing anything else...even sleeping. I wish "but I had to finish my book!" was an acceptable excuse to call off work, lol.

Totally agree with you about Kizzy.


message 39: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 112 comments I had been wanting to read this before the group picked it, but I'm no longer sure why. I had for some reason expected a comedy.

I enjoyed it while reading it, but it certainly wasn't one of those books that I just can't put down, and I was never really feeling drawn back into it after putting it down.

I like the fact that there are complicated characters from very different cultures. I like that it is character-driven more than plot driven. But I still wanted more plot! And more conflict between characters. Everybody was basically just nice to everyone else. Even the space pirates were pretty nice.

Not sure I'd pick a favorite character, but the character I wanted to see more of was Corbin. His surface-level disagreeableness made him interesting.


Sarah | 641 comments I finished this last night.
I enjoyed it a great deal. It was a nice change of pace - a book focused on the characters rather than the action. I enjoy that sometimes.

Lel wrote: "Im in love with this book. I have to say I got pretty angry this morning when I had to stop reading and start work. I normally get a little bit frustrated cause I would rather read than work. But t..."

I've been thinking a lot about what Corbin did to Ohan too. I can't decide what I think.
On the one hand I think he had no right to do it. It was Ohan's choice to make.
On the other I can understand why he did- the rest of the crew had suffered a great deal, losing Ohan too might have been that one thing too much at that point. The whole "needs of the many vs the needs of the one" thing could apply there. Especially considering why Ohan was refusing.
It is a good debate - both for philosophy and for ethics.


message 41: by Nick (last edited Jul 21, 2016 04:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick | 110 comments Sarah wrote: "I've been thinking a lot about what Corbin did to Ohan too..."

I think it's a little more complicated even than that. The book makes it pretty clear that once cured, Ohan's people are really happy to be cured, and it's the virus itself that influences them into not wanting to be cured...

So on the one hand you have respecting the rights of his individual wishes... and on the other, the fact that his wishes are being suborned by something with its own agenda (metaphorically speaking, as far as a virus can be said to have an "agenda"). Even before we get to the needs of the many, we have a conflict between right to make our own decisions, and a community's right to intervene.

It's a powerful conflict, and like you, I haven't made up my mind fully as to what the correct "moral/ethical" answer is.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments I finished the book and I thought it was a nice read with an easy, flowing writing style. I liked all the crew, though I agree that Ashby and Rosemary were on the bland side, and learning about all the different species was great. It took a lot of current, very topical issues and wove them skillfully into this universe where so many different species co-exist. It certainly makes one think. In the end though I was starting to miss having an actual plot and I was itching to move on to another book. I'm very glad I read this though. It was a soothing balm after the dreck of The Magicians.


message 43: by Nick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nick | 110 comments I kind of wish i'd read those two in the other order now too.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments You have my sympathies, Nick. ;-)


message 45: by Lel (last edited Jul 22, 2016 09:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lel (lelspear) | 1963 comments Nick wrote: "So on the one hand you have respecting the rights of his individual wishes... and on the other, the fact that his wishes are being suborned by something with its own agenda (metaphorically speaking, as far as a virus can be said to have an "agenda"). Even before we get to the needs of the many, we have a conflict between right to make our own decisions, and a community's right to intervene."

I'm still finding it hard to make up my mind. On one hand I think it was the wrong choice to make. If you look at it like a terminal illness, the patient has the right to refuse treatment and end their life as they see fit (sort of). If you look at it like a 'mental' issue then people will step in as the person in question cannot always make rational choices until they are in a 'better' place. In which case Corbin did a good and moral thing.

Its a real moral/ethical debate that I think would haunt me forever no mater which way I decided in the end.


message 46: by Veronica (last edited Jul 22, 2016 09:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 803 comments Given that the Whisperer virus affects the thinking of a Sianat, I'm inclined to lean towards more towards viewing it as Ohan not having full capacity to make medical decisions; he is under the influence of something other than himself, something that came from the outside, maybe more like a brain tumor that affects the areas of the brain that regulate inhibitions and thus cause people to act in ways they otherwise wouldn't have. It raises some interesting question, no doubt, but since ultimately Ohan himself didn't mind being alive I can't mind too much either.


Vinca Russell (vinxlady) | 1349 comments I actually finished this a few weeks back, but various commitments have been very time-consuming lately, so I'm only just getting around to joining in the discussion.

Like a few of you, this one was already on my radar (and indeed my bookshelf) before it came up as a book of the month, that just boosted it to the top of my TBR pile. I kept hearing good things about it and wanted to top up my science fiction too as I've been mostly on the fantasy side of things lately.

I absolutely loved it, from beginning to end. It's a book that genuinely made me both laugh out loud and shed real tears. I found the characters to be a really interesting mix and the author used a fairly light-hearted story to bring up some serious real world issues in a way that prompted you to take a step back and think about them for a while. The plot was almost secondary to the characters, but that worked just fine, and there was certainly enough to keep me engaged with the story.

I'm still on the fence about Corbin's actions. I believe that he acted out of a desire to do something good, to help the crew and for once was prepared to take risks to achieve something. On the other hand, should he have respected Ohan's wishes? I just don't know, though I think that like Veronica I'm leaning towards the fact that Ohan wasn't really able to make an unbiased decision. Ultimately Ohan seemed grateful so I guess it worked out alright for them all in the end, but it's definitely a question of ends and means...

I'm really glad there's a sequel to this coming out, I can't wait to go on another adventure with the crazy bunch of folk :-D


message 48: by Mary (last edited Jul 25, 2016 04:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary Catelli | 1342 comments third book of the sub-sub-sub-genre "Life on a tramp starship" I've read lately. It's a genre that seems to require a somewhat episodic plot.


message 49: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1898 comments Mod
I so excited to announce we will be publishing a Q&A session I did with Becky Chambers on Wednesday next week, over on the blog! She was really lovely, and gave some great answers!


Vinca Russell (vinxlady) | 1349 comments Kirsty wrote: "I so excited to announce we will be publishing a Q&A session I did with Becky Chambers on Wednesday next week, over on the blog! She was really lovely, and gave some great answers!"

That'll be great :-)


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