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The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
By Becky Chambers

Discussed March 2017

Buy The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet from Amazon.com

Main Characters
All characters human unless otherwise noted

  • Artis Corbin: an algaeist with a secret even he doesn’t know
  • Dr. Chef: both the doctor and the chef and one of the few remaining Grum; currently male
  • Rosemary Harper: a new crew member with a secret
  • Jenks: the comp tech; has an unusual love life
  • Lovey: Just the AI. Or is she?
  • Ohan: Sianat pair navigator; not feeling well
  • Ashby Santoso: the captain and de facto human resources manager
  • Kizzy Shao: the mech tech; somewhat energetic
  • Sissix: the Aandrisk pilot; cold-blooded, but definitely not a lizard

Questions

  1. Did you finish the book? Did you like it?
  2. Io9 described the novel as a space opera. Is it?
  3. There’s lots of queer content in this novel: interspecies relationships, interspecies same-sex relationships, a human/AI love story, species that change gender, etc. Thoughts?
  4. The story in this novel is much more character driven than action driven. Did you still find it an enjoyable read? Did the novel hold together as a story?
  5. Follow up: there’s not really any tough guy, shoot-‘em-up kind of action in this book. Did you miss it? Was the story still interesting without it?
  6. One of the main themes in this book is the idea of family, either created or biological. What did you think about the different ways that families are portrayed in the novel?
  7. Follow up: The idea of crew as a chosen family, instead of a biological family, seems to be a theme in science fiction recently (in the Expanse series, for example). Are there other examples? Do you find it convincing here or elsewhere?
  8. The novel portrays humanity as a relatively minor race in the Galactic Commons. What did you think of the story’s depiction of human culture in space?
  9. What did you think of the book’s treatment of (human) race?
  10. Would you read her next book (A Closed and Common Orbit)?
  11. Bonus questions: Would you eat a red coast bug? Would you drink happy tea or boring tea?
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