The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers


My Rating: 4.5/5

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe.

I went into this book after hearing the extremely high praise of ‘It’s like Firefly with lesbians.’

This is incorrect, it’s better than Firefly. 

This is truly one of the most diverse science fiction books I have ever read. Humans are NOT a super-species at the forefront of space exploration, but rather a less powerful member of the Galactic Commons. It’s extremely refreshing to read a future where humans are thriving without needing to dominate and colonize other species. Among the crew, we see gender fluidity, multiculturalism, and non-traditional relationship structures. More importantly, it’s just a really fun crew of oddballs that you would want to hang out with.

There is a main storyline of tunneling a wormhole in a new and dangerous sector of space, but also some mini-stories along the way fleshing out each character. It’s rare that I become so invested in a set of characters, but I adore this crew.

This is where the Firefly/Star Trek comparisons come in. Chambers has created a universe that you would actually want to live in. That is a beautiful thing. One of the few criticisms of this book is that there isn’t a strong dramatic plot, it’s a character-driven novel. Personally, I am ok with that, it’s an enjoyable read that allows you to fall in love with and explore a fictional universe and cultures.

I have already picked up the second book in this series and pre-ordered the third. I am so excited to see what Chambers gives us next!

Diversity Rating: 5/5

PoC Characters: Humanity has mostly become one race, in my imagination, they are a bit Polynesian looking but the only visual clues are vague like ‘dark complexion’ and ‘ tight curly hair’.

LGBTQ Characters: Yes. Gay/pansexual characters, a gender fluid character, and non-traditional relationships all feature.

Bechdel Test: Pass

(Side Note: I REALLY want Netflix or Amazon to pick this up for a miniseries!)

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