- Paperback: 153 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager (3 September 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062936018
- ISBN-13: 978-0062936011
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ FREE Delivery
+ FREE Delivery
+ $11.45 Delivery
To Be Taught, If Fortunate Paperback – 3 Sep 2019
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"Extraordinary . . . A future sci-fi masterwork in a new and welcome tradition."--Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
"Becky Chambers takes space opera in a whole new and unexpected direction, her books bring me so much joy."--Ben Aaronovitch, author of Rivers of London
"Some of the most forward-thinking, inspiring science fiction out there . . . a joyful antidote to crushed spirits and a celebration of the power of curiosity, love, adventure and discovery."
--Claire North, author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
"Rendered with startling clarity, Chambers' latest offering is a short but fierce ode to humanity and all our reaches and flaws. Unputdownable."--Natasha Ngan, author of Girls of Paper and Fire
"An exquisite expression of our moment in time. Here's why we need to keep going boldly into space - not to exploit, but to learn. Impressive and essential." --Stephen Baxter, author of Promixa
"Epic in the scale of discoveries but with a miniaturist's eye for detail, and as revealing of the observers as the observed. In a word, brilliant."--Andrew Caldecott, author of Rotherweird
"An extraordinary picture of humanity among the stars."--Kirkus Reviews
"Becky Chambers is a master of delivering sadness and devastation right alongside a true and genuine love for humanity, and that is something that illuminates everything she's written."--Black Forest Basilisks
About the Author
Becky Chambers is the author of the science fiction novels 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. She also writes essays and short stories, which can be found here and there around the internet. In addition to writing, Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. She spends her free time playing video and tabletop games, keeping bees, and looking through her telescope. She lives with her wife in the woodsy north of California.
Review this product
1 customer review
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Leaving the final section of the plot as a "you decide" seems for the life of me to be a lazy way out. This for me made it very unsatisfying and unless she has some second installment where the crowd sourcing of the next step is decided, seems a waste of a story.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Climate change accelerated to a severe crisis that drained the ability and willingness of governments to support space exploration. Yet the drive to explore is not dead, and a private institute forms, to crowd-fund continued research and exploration. With contributions coming from anyone, anywhere in the world, who wants to support it, and all contributions, tiny or enormous, acknowledged, it works.
This story follows Lawki 6, a mission to a red dwarf system with four planets that may be habitable. Five missions to other star systems were launched before them, but results from the first weren't yet received when Lawki 6, ship name Merian, departs.
The crew is engineer Ariadne O'Neill, nominally in charge, and mission specialists Elena Quesada-Cruz, Jack Vo, and Chikondi Daka. With the information about the worlds gathered before their departure, they have patches that, while they are in deep sleep between worlds, make small but significant changes in their bodies to improve their ability to do their jobs. It might be skin glitter to make them more visible to each other in low light conditions, or improved bone density and musculature for high gravity, or any other small, useful changes that don't require remaking basic body form.
And on each world they make fascinating discoveries--sometimes, not always, including life.
The system is 14 lightyears away, so news and mission updates from Earth are fourteen years old, essentially history, when received. Likewise, their mission reports are fourteen years old by the time they reach Earth. Because they don't have FTL, they are separated from those they left behind by a good deal more than fourteen years. But this is not designed as a one-way mission. They expected to return to Earth eventually. It's the distance and time delay from Earth, the years of changes in what feels to them like a brief nap, in torpor traveling between their target worlds, that ultimately produces their major crisis.
Their instruments are picking up data from another star system, one that has a planet that not only has life, but may have a technological civilization. On the one hand, they have no reason not to go check it out. Distances and consumables reserves are such that they can go there, and still be able to return to Earth. There seems to be no immediate need to return, given the information they have.
But why are they out here? What's the purpose of their exploration, and who is it for? They weren't funded, equipped, trained to indulge their own curiosity; they're doing it for Earth. What does Earth want? Is it right or wrong to continue?
Chambers always gives us absorbing, compelling characters, whose dilemmas are real and challenging. In this novella, she gives us interesting worlds and life forms, and characters we really care about and understand by the time they face their big decision.
I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via Edelweiss.