To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella (Hardback)Becky Chambers (author)
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Fresh from the Wayfarers series, Becky Chambers launches into another intricately rendered and utterly convincing future world. Set in a universe where astronauts respond to their interplanetary environment, To Be Taught if Fortunate addresses existential issues at the same time as weaving a gripping sci-fi adventure yarn. This is speculative fiction that truly transcends its genre.
In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the galaxy transform themselves.
At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations.
They can produce antifreeze in sub-zero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to explore neighbouring exoplanets long suspected to harbour life.
Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds fifteen light-years from Earth, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 240 g
Dimensions: 202 x 132 x 20 mm
'Becky Chambers takes space opera in a whole new and unexpected direction, her books bring me so much joy' - Ben Aaronovitch
'Some of the most forward-thinking, inspiring science fiction out there... a joyful antidote to crushed spirits and a celebration of the power of curiosity, love, adventure and discovery' - Claire North'Epic in the scale of discoveries but with a miniaturist's eye for detail, and as revealing of the observers as the observed. In a word, brilliant' - Andrew Caldecott, author of Rotherweird
'Extraordinary... A future sci-fi masterwork in a new and welcome tradition' - Joanne Harris
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Yet another beautiful, moving and utterly compelling piece of work from the incredible Becky Chambers.
She moves away from the world she created in A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and explores the delicate dynamics... More
“A great read in a small emotional book”
As sad as it is to temporarily move away from the Wayfarers universe. This was a welcome detour. A space journey that you would think has been told countless times but feels effortless, fresh and human.
“Sci-fi at its best”
Becky Chambers’ novella follows astronaut Ariadne and her three colleagues as they investigate planets and moons which may be habitable. We share in their excitement at their discoveries and the struggles with the... More
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