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Review: To be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers

  This novella is a long slow punch to the gut.

I adore Becky Chambers writing I have loved her Wayfarers sequence and whilst this is not part of that universe it shares enough DNA that it feels similar.

Ariadne, Chikondi, Elena and Jack are crew members on a mission from Earth to travel to four different envrionments on moons and planets for science! As ever with Chambers work there is a quiet humanity to her work where hope and doing things for the joy of them are celebrated and the work that four people undertake as well as how they interact and manage to get on.

The emotional is raw and feels so authentic in her work that she writes the most powerful stories that just connects with me as a reader so strongly I can’t quite cope with how beautiful her prose is.

The story is epsiodic, four planets, four crew, four environments and different issues on each one.  With an over arching theme of what might be happening back on earth and the real possibility that theirs is a one way trip and how to reconcile that.

Chambers doesn’t flinch from dark places but it is always tempered with the best in what makes us human and she really is a beacon of writer pointing the way at a better more inclusive future that seems so much under threat than it once did.

This is one of my first reads for Subjective Chaos and I’m in love already.

Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in Durrey. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her

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