A long voyage of the Human (sapien) condition

angryplanetChambers, B. (2015). The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers) (Kindle Edition). New York: Harper Voyager.

“The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” is a masterpiece of a Space Opera. Set in the future, perhaps not too distant, a young human woman is setting forth into the world in her first job after college. While this is relatable, the adventures she leads are not conceivable in the current era. She ventures off into deep space to live amongst an inter-species crew that makes tunnels in space to connect the galaxy. The friendships, obstacles and humorous miscommunications the crew encounters, creates a captivating read.

What is so enthralling about this story is the level in which I could relate and feel a sense of hope. Rosemary is in a setting where she is having a fresh start in a new career amongst co-workers who come from all backgrounds. There is drama, laughs, tears, terror and collaboration along the way. What is different than the present and gives an edge of hope is the ideal that in the future, race, gender, body shape and sexual orientation are non-issues. As one minor character states, “all young civilizations go through similar stages of development before they are ready to leave their birth planets behind” (Chambers, 2015, P.269). What follows is a description of the chaos in a species, which then inevitably leads to it coming together if it is to survive. The species stops warring with itself. I felt this was a beautiful way to look at humanity which would currently be in just its adolescence and that the best is yet to come.

The best part in this series may in fact be the best to come with the next novel. The sequel, “A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers) was nominated for a 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel! I read this to prep for this month’s Book Club, but was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable of a read it was. If you like space, drama and stories about the human condition (or Sapien condition in this case), pick up a copy of this novel.

Colette Molteni

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