To Be Taught, If Fortunate
September 8, 2019 6:07 PM - by Becky Chambers - Subscribe

A stand-alone science fiction novella from Becky Chambers, the author of the Wayfarers series. Like her other books, it's an intimate, character based story. No concrete antagonists, some tech, a simpld, quiet and thoughtful space opera.
posted by signal (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm reading this now.

One thing I was thinking was that the title of this one and the title of Record Of A Spaceborn Few could have been swapped (maybe change Spaceborn to Spaceborne).
posted by yonega at 7:56 AM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I loved this book. It definitely descends somewhere darker than the Wayfarers series. It is harder sci fi, and less optimistic. But it was also more mature and lyrically written. Slight but powerful!

My edition had a Q&A between the author and her mother, a scientist, which I also loved.
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 5:01 PM on September 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sadly, the ending conceit of this book is a thing I really despise and despite being a big fan of hers, it soured me on what I had enjoyed until then. (The scene with the animal getting into the spaceship was harrowing though.)
posted by jeather at 4:19 PM on September 14, 2019

Didn't much like the very beginning, didn't much like the very end, loved everything in the middle.
posted by kyrademon at 6:53 AM on October 9, 2019

I'm having a really hard time separating my feelings on this book from the situation I read it in (mostly over the last week and a half, mostly between 10 pm and 2am while keeping a watch on my block from my porch, this is also the last book I purchased in person from a bookstore that's since burned down), but I'm going to say that it affected me a lot.

That feeling that things are rapidly changing right outside of your vision, of long periods of quiet with moments of immediate danger and uncertainty. It really resonanted with me. Becky Chambers has a tendency to write things that seem kind of slow and good but not very interesting to me right to the point where she describes a very specific incident and it feels like therapy, but this one went even further than that.

The start was extremely slow for a novella and I'm also a little 'meh' about the ending, but I don't know if it was the best or worst thing to read over a series of long nights.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:12 AM on June 6, 2020

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