Becky Chambers || The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

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I had a pleasant time reading  The Long Way to a Small Angry Plane. Not for a moment though did I get the impression I was reading a novel of literary quality. I would not be surprised if Becky Chambers did not miss a single episode of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager. Wayfarer, her space ship is slightly smaller than those under the command of Picard or Janeway but still. The ‘trekkies’ amongst you will recognize the intergalactic union between creatures who have previously fought bitterly, the enormous variety in species, the gigantic understanding for each others singular characteristics or the relationships between different species. The almost human board computer still lacks the physical form, that was being taken care of while I was reading.  And lest not forget the aggressive species lacking all insight to the peaceful way of intergalactic life.  The voyage to the small planet where a wormhole (DS9) between galaxies has to be dug is the instrument to take us along in the lives of the crew: their past, their relationships and their love lives. Every episode of Star Trek contained lots of action, The Long Way restricts itself to a highway robbery (and even that is taken care of with respect for the culture of the robbers) and a skirmish once the boring of the wormhole starts. The novel focusses on the lack of cultural differences, the living together peacefully and lacks any subtlety in bringing this across. At a certain point it rather started to annoy me. I did not suffer whilst reading The Long Way, it was quite entertaining and it is definitely better written than the average scifi-novel. It is nominated for the Bailey’s however and that, correct me if I am wrong, is for literary quality not for best scifi.

small angry planet


About booksandliliane

I am an avid reader and love to share my love for literature. I have my own opinion on books that have been shortlisted, laureated by critics or are pushed on us by bookstores. I will try and explain why I like or do not like a book. Hopefully influencing you in your choice of books to read.
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4 Responses to Becky Chambers || The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

  1. Col says:

    When I read blurb and spiel about this book thought ‘sounds like Star Trek’ but assumed if Baileys nominated must be more to it than that! Reading your review think first instinct seems likely to be right! Am reading through Baileys nominees – will slide this to the ‘possibly never’ pile!

    • I loved Star Trek myself and I always appreciated its lack of violence and cruelty. Nevertheless it definitely needed action, it would have become boring otherwise. Reading or watching SciFi are two entirely different things. I preferred watching Star Trek.

  2. curlygeek04 says:

    I quite agree with your review (posting mine tomorrow!). I was surprised this was a Bailey’s nominee even though I enjoyed it. I found it a little too light, everything was fairly easily resolved and the characters were a bit too nice. I also felt like I’ve seen these characters and concepts before. Maybe the next book will be more complex now that the characters are all introduced? I recommend Leviathan Wakes if you’re looking for really good “space opera.” Also Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds really reminded me of Star Trek, in a good way.

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