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Wayfarers Books In Order

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Publication Order of Wayfarers Books

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Closed and Common Orbit (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Record of a Spaceborn Few (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The “Wayfarers” series of novels is a set of novels by Becky Chambers, an award winning and bestselling American author. Her novels have also been nominated for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Locus Award, and the Arthur C Clarke Award. Before she became an author, she was involved in the performing arts. Her interest in space fiction probably came from her upbringing in a family obsessed with the genre. She published “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet,” the debut novel of the “Wayfarers” series of novels in 2014. When she is not writing her novels, she can be found looking through her telescope, playing tabletop and video games and keeping bees. She has quite the love for travel and has been all over the world. She now lives with her wife in her home state.

Chambers has worked as a freelance writer and in a theater management company before she became a self published author. Her debut novel was published thanks to the support she received when she posted the project on kick starter. The novel was nominated for a Kitschies and received critical acclaim soon after publishing, which was a first for a self published novel. Given how much success it got, she was contacted by Harper Voyager, a traditional publisher who published it afresh. She has since published several other titles in the “Wayfarers” series of novels. The series of novels won the Best Series at the Hugo Awards and Becky Chambers has gone on to write several more titles that have been just as successful.

The “Wayfarers” series of novels by Becky Chambers follow the crew of the Wayfarers Spaceship. The ship usually takes commissions to fly to space locations and Rosemary the new hire has to work hard not to crack and spill her secrets in a very stressful environment. In the debut novel of the series, the spaceship has a commission to travel to the galactic core where the crew is to construct a new hyperspace tunnel. It is here that the lead’s secrets may just spoil out. The second novel tells the story of the ship’s artificial intelligence named Lovelace who wakes up in a new body. She has no memory of the past given that there had been a total reboot following a system shut down. She finds herself in a new body and does not quite understand how she got there. In the third novel of the series, the Exodus Fleet is a relic still going strong centuries after Earth was abandoned by humans. Humanity is now part of the galactic community and not many of the current crop of humans knows anything about planet Earth or the Exodus Fleet.

In “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet,” we are introduced to Rosemary Harper, the newcomer to the aging Wayfarer spaceship. It is an old ship that was once the pride and joy of Earth but is now in disrepair. She has been offered a chance to explore the remote corners of the galaxy and a place to sleep, even though the main reason for her joining is to get away from her past. She is an introspective woman who keeps to herself but finds the diverse crew very odd. There is the exotic reptilian pilot Sissix, Jenks and Kizzy the chatty engineers that ensure every mechanical thing is running well and their noble captain Ashby. It is a crazy and chaotic life aboard the ship but this is what Rosemary needs. But it is about to become very dangerous as the ship gets a contract to go to the other side of the galaxy. They are to tunnel wormholes into space to find a way to a distant planet. The pay is good and will set them up for years though she had never planned on putting her life at risk. In deep space, they will have to deal with some unexpected adventures and several unexpected mishaps that will call for them to rely on each other more than ever before.

In “A Closed and Common Orbit,” the second novel of the “Wayfarers” series of novels, the story is told from the perspective of Lovelace, an artificial intelligence on the ship. Lovelace had once been a premier artificial intelligence but her code had to be transferred into a synthetic but very realistic looking body that was known as a “kit.” She had been reborn into a new life with a completely new body, adopted the name Sidra and also took on a new identity. Teaming up with the tech wizard Pepper who has been a friend for the longest time, the two download her consciousness and try to integrate the AI into the galactic society. They have to be careful in doing this as they could attract the attention or suspicions of the law which is something they do not want. The story also includes a blast from the past showcasing the story of Jane 23 which was the name Pepper used to go by as a child. She had been brought up in an institution set up to produce bio-engineered clones that would then be used as disposable and cheap labor. Most of the clones are kept ignorant, sheltered and are treated poorly even though they are taught enough to keep them functional. Jane finally manages to free herself but soon learns that her struggles as a galactic citizen are just beginning.

“Record of a Spaceborn Few,” the third of the series is set several hundred years after humans got on board the Exodus Fleet and abandoned the Earth. They spent hundreds of years looking for a new home among the stars until their descendants were eventually accepted by a civilization that governed the Milky Way. But that had happened several hundred years ago. In the current world, the Exodus Fleet remains the birthplace of many people but a relic of the times.
Exodans are still proud of their original traditions and community but their culture has been severely diluted following interactions with other races. Many Exodans are leaving for terrestrial colonies and alien cities while those who stay behind ponder their futures and lives. They do not know why they should remain on a ship that reached its destination when there are many habitable spaces in the galaxy. While the answers to these questions might seem inconsequential when looked at in a galactic perspective, they are profound for the archivist, caretaker for the dead, alien academic and lifelong spacer with children on the ship.

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