To Be Taught, If Fortunate
A Hugo and Locus Award Nominee!
"Extraordinary . . . A future sci-fi masterwork in a new and welcome tradition." -- Joanne Harris, author if Chocolat
A stand-alone science fiction novella from the award-winning, bestselling, critically-acclaimed author of the Wayfarers series.
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 subzero 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 journey to neighboring exoplanets long known to harbor life.
A team of these explorers, Ariadne O'Neill and her three crewmates, are hard at work in a planetary system fifteen light-years from Sol, on a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds. But as Ariadne shifts through both form and time, the culture back on Earth has also been transformed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the story of the wonders and dangers of her mission, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.
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About the Author
Becky Chambers was raised in California as the progeny of an astrobiology educator, an aerospace engineer, and an Apollo-era rocket scientist. An inevitable space enthusiast, she made the obvious choice of studying performing arts. After a few years in theater administration, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her creative work has appeared at The Mary Sue, Tor.com, Five Out Of Ten, The Toast, and Pornokitsch. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is her first novel, and was funded in 2012 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
After living in Scotland and Iceland, Becky is now back in her home state, where she lives with her partner. She is an ardent proponent of video and tabletop games, and enjoys spending time in nature. She hopes to see Earth from orbit one day.
"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, author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
"Rendered with startling clarity, Chambers' latest offering is a short but fierce ode to humanity and all our reaches and flaws. Unputdownable."--Natasha Ngan, author of Girls of Paper and Fire
"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, author of Chocolat
"Becky Chambers takes space opera in a whole new and unexpected direction, her books bring me so much joy."--Ben Aaronovitch, author of Rivers of London
"An exquisite expression of our moment in time. Here's why we need to keep going boldly into space - not to exploit, but to learn. Impressive and essential." --Stephen Baxter, author of Promixa
"An extraordinary picture of humanity among the stars."--Kirkus Reviews
"Becky Chambers is a master of delivering sadness and devastation right alongside a true and genuine love for humanity, and that is something that illuminates everything she's written."--Black Forest Basilisks
"To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a tight, frequently funny, character-driven novella."--Locus