THE BOOKENING TITLE #4
: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
, Becky Chambers.
Oh, wow. This was a joy from start to finish. I'm sad that the sequel isn't out yet. Hello, new favourite book?
Here's something I don't think I've mentioned here before: I'm afraid of space. It's so big and so empty and so unknown. I think stars in the night sky are beautiful, but I can't look at them for too long because I start thinking about how far away they are and I get unsettled. The Total Perspective Vortex would destroy me. So I was a bit nervous at the prospect of reading a book all about scary space.
But it wasn't a problem at all. Space is so alive and fascinating in Small Angry Planet
. I loved all the information we got about society and history and the differences between assorted sapient species. The whole universe was so much fun
The structure is interesting; it's very episodic. Rather than focusing on telling one overarching story, this book introduces a cast of characters and then goes 'and now we're going to see a series of their escapades!' It's essentially a series of interconnected short stories. It could be adapted very well to television.
And it's a great cast of characters. I'm fond of everyone. Kizzy might be my favourite (I wasn't sure at first whether she would be irritating or endearing, but she came down firmly on the latter side for me), and I love her relationship with Jenks. Oh, wait, maybe Ashby's my favourite? WHO KNOWS; EVERYONE'S GREAT. Sissix, Dr Chef, Rosemary, everyone. Even Corbin won me over towards the end.
I can't stop picturing Ohan as Randall, the chameleon guy from Monsters Inc
. This is not even slightly right (Randall doesn't have fur, for one thing), but for some reason my mind refuses to let go of it.
When I was almost finished with this book, I went, 'Hey, I should see how much fanfiction is waiting for me once this is over.' The answer: literally none. Nobody has written Small Angry Planet
Maybe I should fix that.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I want the entire crew of the Wayfarer
to have a big Aandrisk-esque cuddlepile-stroke-orgy. Sissix said that almost all feather families have group sex at least once! I can understand why the Wayfarer
crew is the exception, but I'm also sad that it's the exception. (Corbin elects not to engage in the orgy; he just sits off to the side and complains throughout.) This is probably not something I'm going to write.
I might write something about Lovelace, actually. I've made a small start, but it's tricky; the book is in past tense, and I want to try to match its style, but I haven't written in the past tense in so long
. (This is perhaps why I so rarely write fanfiction for books; my instinct is always to replicate the writing style, and it's tricky!)
I'd really like to see some flashbacks to characters' early days on the Wayfarer
in the sequel. But, honestly, I'll be happy so long as we get more of the ridiculous adventures of this pack of space misfits.
OKAY, I'VE JUST CHECKED THE BLURB FOR THE SEQUEL AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS NOT, IN FACT, ABOUT THIS PACK OF SPACE MISFITS. Noooooooo! The lack of fanfiction is now even more tragic than it was before
Anyway, this is a thoroughly delightful book. I'm so happy to have read it.