Last night, I dreamt that Jaime and Brienne of A Song of Ice and Fire
kissed and then immediately died. I am in favour of half of this dream.
Maybe I should start on A Feast for Crows
, but I'm still grumpy with A Storm of Swords
for splitting up all of my favourite character combinations. Whose chapters am I supposed to look forward to now?
THE BOOKENING TITLE #12
: A Closed and Common Orbit
, Becky Chambers.
I was disappointed when I first learnt that the follow-up to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
would focus on a couple of minor characters from the first book, rather than on my beloved Wayfarer
crew. It turns out that there was no need for disappointment! I'd still love another book about the crew of the Wayfarer
(please, Becky Chambers, if you're listening), but I really enjoyed A Closed and Common Orbit
(It's a sci-fi book all about women! Grumpy, flawed women! Of the five major characters, 3.5 are female and only 1.5 are male. I swear this makes sense when you read it.)
As I've said before, I love it when people are thrown into new, unfamiliar environments, and A Closed and Common Orbit
great because it has two such storylines: Sidra learning to live as organic beings do, and Jane 23 learning that the factory she works in isn't the entire world.
There's always a risk, when a book has multiple storylines, that the reader will focus on one to the extent of resenting the others, and I'll admit that did slightly happen with me; I was fascinated by the Jane storyline, and there were points where I went 'okay, fine, I've just got to push through this Sidra chapter and then I can read more about Jane.' But the Sidra storyline was fine! I just happened to be more invested in the Jane one.
I got oddly emotional about the scene where Jane plays a videogame for the first time. The game characters are so patient and understanding! She's been deprived of that for so much of her life!
Oouoh is my favourite and I'm sad that he's only in one scene. I love him introducing Jane to spices, and their 'Are any of these poisonous?' 'To you? No idea. But I know where the med ward is, and you look easy to carry' exchange.
The ending was really satisfying. And I'm fascinated by all the questions about AI ethics this book raises.
Reading this finally pushed me to buy a physical copy of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
. I already have the ebook, but it feels wrong not to have a physical version of a book I love so much. Maybe I should reread it. Is it too soon to reread it? It's been less than a year since I read it for the first time, but it feels like it was too long ago. It's such a warm, hopeful book. I think everyone could do with some warmth and hope at the moment.