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Summary

The Sunday Time best seller. 

From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope. 

The incredible new audiobook by Becky Chambers, author of the beloved The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

#SpacebornFew

Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.

Tessa chose to stay home when her brother, Ashby, left for the stars but has to question that decision when her position in the Fleet is threatened.

Kip, a reluctant young apprentice, itches for change but doesn't know where to find it.

Sawyer, a lost and lonely newcomer, is just looking for a place to belong.

When a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home can no longer avoid the inescapable question:

What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?

©2018 Becky Chambers (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"A quietly profound, humane tour de force." (Guardian).

"The best speculative fiction currently being written." (John Connolly)

"An emotional, moving look at what it means to be human, and the importance of heritage and legacy." (Lauren James, author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe)

Audible Sessions with Becky Chambers

Meet the author of Record of a Spaceborn Few
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What listeners say about Record of a Spaceborn Few

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not as good as the rest of the series

Maybe I'm rating it so low because of how much I loved the other books in the series, but it felt a bit aimless. The central plot was a bit of a nonevent compared to the amount of time discussing cultural differences, which might have been more engaging if there had been a stronger narrative thread tying it all together. Still worth reading/listening, but not up to the calibre of the rest of the series.

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Beautiful

A heartwarming love letter to community spirit. Very progressive. With interesting nuance regarding planned economies vs free markets. And excellent narration.

3 people found this helpful

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Another disappointment!

The first Wayfarer book was good, the next two just spin-off stories in the same universe. This is a book about 'why am I here', 'who or what is God' etc.. No sci-fi really, no excitement and no real point. The narration was its best point. The more I listened the quicker I had to turn the speed up to just get through it. You can do x1.4 without a problem.

2 people found this helpful

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tedious compared to first two books

I found this book tedious and seemingly lacking a solid story line. I would quite happily have skipped this book. The whole way through I was hoping for something exciting to happen and then it ended.

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Perfect if you want to fall asleep

Perfect for falling asleep. Contrary to the storylines of the previous books in this series this one is dead boring. Literally nothing exciting happens, it’s just a mundane description of everyday life in this particular sci-fi universe. I did enjoy it only as means to fall solid asleep.

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Slightly disappointing.

The lesser of the 3 novels (so far) in the series. Feeling more like an experiment in world building than telling a good story. Not much happens plot wise and was going to mark this even lower but the last third of the book is rather good.

Narration was well done.

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I'm really struggling

I loved the first 2 books in this series, but I've had to start this one from the beginning for a fourth time, because the first 3 attempts I found my mind drifting off so much, I had no idea what was happening. I've just done exactly the same on this attempt, I think I'm going to have to throw in the towel. I'm decorating, I have nothing else to do but listen, however, my mind just cannot seem to engage.

I really enjoy the narration on these books though, It is upbeat, and I was hoping that would get me through, but even that isn't helping. Such a shame.

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A little lacking in story.

The second book of the series has been my stand out favourite by far; the third is a little empty, despite being so crowded.
It really is what the title says; a record of 5 lives and their time on board a single ship in a time span of around 5 years. I was expecting every moment of ever chapter for the characters to meet, for the stories to collide; in essence for the plot to kick off. It never did.
The most exciting story with the most likeable character by far cuts off abruptly, leaving you with four downer characters plodding on alone, meeting only tangentially. Its still very listenable, interesting if you are interested in the minutiae of world-building, but don’t come for action.

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The least favourite of the trilogy

I found it really hard to get invested in the stories of the characters. Definitely not as good as the first two.

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Okay book, terrible sequel

You really need to know before you by this that Record of a Spaceborn Few is a Slice of Life book. By that, I mean it focusses on mundane moments and character interaction. Here are some of the events that Becky devotes an entire chapter to:
1) An extended sequence where a mother tries to put her two children to bed but they're being naughty
2) A tourist spends time thinking about how hard it is to see the 'real place' he's visiting, instead of just the tourist spots
3) Lenghty (very lenghty) notes by an anthropologist about how life works in a fleet
4) A discussion between an archivist and her wife about whether their alien visitor is being respectufl to their way of life.

You get the idea? It's all very low key, low stakes stuff. There are some higher stakes events that happen late in the book but for me they were far too little and far too late. You could hapilly skip one third of the chapters in the book at random and not miss out on much.

Becky Chambers has always flirted with Slice of Life writing. The first two Wayfairers books were far more concerned with the lives of the characters than moving the plot along at a good pace. The thing was, in Long Way the characters had to defuse bombs on space ships and deal with pirates and nearly get blown up by hostile aliens. Sidra's entire existence was under threat in A Closed and Common Orbit. As such the sudden lack of stakes makes A Spaceborn Few a terrible follow up. The only connection to the previous two books is one of the characters we follow is Asby's sister. Otherwise this book may as well be set in a different universe - unless you're really interested in how life in the Exoden fleets works.


THAT BEING SAID

It's not bad. If you're on board for a slice of life novel, and you don't mind that there aren't any stakes, then you'll have a great time here. As long as you KNOW that there basically isn't any story, you might actually find yourself having a good time. Personally, I couldn't stand it. I thought it was really boring. Becky Chambers still writes really well, and the goodwill she'd built up with me from the last two books carried me all the way to the end... but she's going to have to work really hard to get me to pre-order book 4 in the series.

Patricia Rodriguez continues to be a really good reader.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michaela
  • 02-07-20

Interesting character study, not a great story

The book follows several characters as they develop and live their lives and as a character study, it is indeed interesting. However, there is no plot or narrative tension. There is no conflict or question that needs resolving. The characters are not very relatable and the one who is, is only there for a few chapters. It feels endless and not in a good way, because you keep expecting something to actually happen and it...doesn't.

That being said, it's written and narrated well.

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  • 2560431
  • 11-06-19

This book is everything!

Becky Chambers is so good at teaching understanding and respect and tolerance in an exciting and super entertaining way. She deals with the questions of accepting those who are different from us by telling deeply humane stories. All three books in the trilogy are bit different from each other, so it’s hard to compare them. They are all deep and amazing in different ways. As usual, I laughed, I cried and I ended up feeling hopeful. This should be a compulsory reading for us to learn about curiosity and acceptance. Narration is perfect!

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  • Karl Johan Oeckinger
  • 15-10-18

best of the series

Chambers have matured while writing this series, and here delivered a low key masterpiece, filled with hope in humanity (despite the rather gloomy circumstances)