Lovelace had been in a body for twenty-eight minutes, and it still felt every bit as wrong as it had the second she woke up inside it.
–Becky Chambers - A Closed and Common Orbit - c.2016
Wayfarers ; #2
Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.
Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together
I mean, I really loved the first one, but this is just as good in every way, if not even better.
I have always said that I’m a character driven reader, and I think that my love of Becky Chambers’ two books in the Wayfarers series really prove that. Her books are all about character. She uses the sci-fi genre to do exactly what it should do; explore what it is to be human. What a person is, what the “other” might be. How societies are constructed and how our prejudices and -isms are part of our upbringing. It is classic sci-fi, ignore all the naysayers who might complain that it isn’t real sci-fi because it lacks technobabble!1 Not that technobabble doesn’t have it’s place. Star Trek wouldn’t be the wonder it is without it, for example, but that is one type of sci-fi. This is another, and it is just as valid and important. And awesome!
Seriously, if you’ve enjoy character driven stories concerned with notions of personhood, and AIs and where life begins then you really need to give this a try.
A Closed and Common Orbit is a sequel to A Long Way to A Small Angry Planet, but it can easily stand on its own too, you don’t need to have read the first. Although you should. It’s awesome too.
I haven’t read any of this criticism, but I am guessing that some may be out there. ↩