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To Be Taught, If Fortunate

A Novella
Narrated by: Patricia Rodriguez
Length: 4 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Summary

In her new novella, Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves. 

Adriane is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does.

Ariadne may awaken to find that support for space exploration back home has waned, or that her country of birth no longer exists, or that a cult has arisen around their cosmic findings, only to dissolve once more by the next waking. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home.    

Carrying all the trademarks of her other beloved works, including brilliant writing, fantastic world-building and exceptional, diverse characters, Becky's first audiobook outside of the Wayfarers series is sure to capture the imagination of listeners all over the world. 

©2019 Becky Chambers (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Short and fantastic

I hope there is a sequel. Becky Chambers is that something different in the sci fi genre and doesn't need a grand space opera to make a story compelling. Just great writing about regular people in their regular situations ( which aren't regular for the reader).

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Astonishing

Becky Chambers consistently and excellently manages to dive into the humanity of space travel in new and interesting ways. This is not a wayfarers book, nor in the same universe, but it is a space book and a fantastic one at that. Patricia Rodriguez is the perfect reader for these books and she brings everything to life. I was initially skeptical that this was a short book, but within 10 minutes I was convinced. If you liked all 3 wayfarers, you'll love this.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A book to learn from.

I've just finished reading this story and found it really enjoyable. From the outset I could hear Becky's voice in the storytelling.

Her brand for "philosophical" science fiction is a breath of fresh air amongst the space battles and empires often published.

In this novel the exploration of both new worlds and the ethics of space exploration are disected and give the reader pause for thaught. I would be pleased if the next book deals with the reply from Earth.

I think Becky has raised some interesting questions that in this time of environmental crisis asks us to examine our need/desire to see what is over the horizon.

I highly recommend this book. And I look forward to reading her next.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Neither one thing for the other

I have no idea why Becky would, after two novels writing about interesting alien races and existential questions regarding A.I., abandon all that and focus her writing on humans and humanity. Where are the Andrisks? Where are the Aeluons? Where are the life-or-death situations and the deep explorations of what it means to be alive?

What Becky appears to be trying to do with this novella, and the previous Wayfarers book, is something more akin to Andy Wier's Artemis, but with lower stakes. And that's fine, but it doesn't really gel with her casual, irreverent writing style. The removal of all drama and stakes from her writing means the prose is just a little tedious.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful