25 Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Books of the 21st Century (So Far)
Becky Chambers' vision of a time when humanity takes its place among a bustling galactic diaspora is so hopeful and funny and gentle that it makes the future look good. Far and away from the technology-and-politics hard scifi of my youth, I was tripping over myself to get to the next book in the series just to keep spending time with her characters. A world worth getting lost in! Recommended By SitaraG, Powells.com
If you like a healthy dose of hope with your science fiction, there’s no better place to start than with Becky Chambers. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet gives us the gift of a found-family ragtag crew of adventurers, genuinely fascinating alien races, and super cool technology (their spaceship runs on algae!). This book, and the rest of the Wayfarers series, builds its foundation on character-driven kindness: that a better, more-hopeful universe can exist if we reach for the people closest to us and choose gentleness over bitterness again and again. Fans of Firefly and Star Trek, reach for this read next! Recommended By Anna B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed modern science fiction masterpiece, Hugo Award winner for Best Series!
Also included on Library Journal's Best SFF of 2016, the Barnes & Nobles Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Best Books of 2015, the Tor.com Best Books of 2015, Reader’s Choice, as well as nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Kitschie, and the Bailey's Women's Prize.
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 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.
“Humane and alien, adventurous and thoughtful, vast in its imagination and wonderfully personal in the characters it builds. But above all else, it is joyously written and a joy to read.” Claire North, author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
“One of the most enjoyable, brilliantly realized spacey SF novels I’ve read in ages.” James Smythe, author of The Echo and The Explorer
“Becky Chambers’ debut is a joyous, optimistic space opera...Although it isn’t shy about tackling Big Questions, Planet is a heart-warming debut novel that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general).” Tor.com
“A quietly profound, humane tour de force that tackles politics and gender issues with refreshing optimism.” The Guardian
“Great fun!” Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice
About the Author
Becky Chambers was raised in California as the progeny of an astrobiology educator, an aerospace engineer, and an Apollo-era rocket scientist. An inevitable space enthusiast, she made the obvious choice of studying performing arts. After a few years in theater administration, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her creative work has appeared at The Mary Sue, Tor.com, Five Out Of Ten, The Toast, and Pornokitsch. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is her first novel, and was funded in 2012 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
After living in Scotland and Iceland, Becky is now back in her home state, where she lives with her partner. She is an ardent proponent of video and tabletop games, and enjoys spending time in nature. She hopes to see Earth from orbit one day.
Becky Chambers on PowellsBooks.Blog