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Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers) by…
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Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers) (edition 2018)

by Becky Chambers (Author)

Series: Wayfarers (3)

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1,0087015,036 (4.08)103
Return to the sprawling universe of the Galactic Commons, as humans, artificial intelligence, aliens, and some beings yet undiscovered explore what it means to be a community in this exciting third adventure in the acclaimed and multi-award-nominated science fiction Wayfarers series, brimming with heartwarming characters and dazzling space adventure. Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way. But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life?and is it worth saving at all? A young apprentice, a lifelong spacer with young children, a planet-raised traveler, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, and an Archivist whose mission is to ensure no one's story is forgotten, wrestle with these profound universal questions. The answers may seem small on the galactic scale, but to these individuals, it could mean everything.… (more)
Member:Whatnot
Title:Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers)
Authors:Becky Chambers (Author)
Info:Harper Voyager (2018), 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:science fiction, character driven

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

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Book 3 in the Wayfarers series and this one can be read on its own, no problem with that. It is written, however, that 'Record of a Spaceborn Few' continues directly after the events in [b:The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet|25786523|The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)|Becky Chambers|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1526050112s/25786523.jpg|42270825]. So, if you want continuation, it's best to start the series in its chronological order.

I liked [b:The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet|25786523|The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)|Becky Chambers|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1526050112s/25786523.jpg|42270825] a lot, as you can read here. The stand-alone follow-up, [b:A Closed and Common Orbit|32203177|A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)|Becky Chambers|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1474858812s/32203177.jpg|48620653], for which you, in my humble opinion, do need to have read the first book, was a little less to my liking, as you can read here.

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Part three in the series comes with a new cast of characters, incl. Tessa, Ashy Santoso's sister. Ashy was the captain of the ship in the first book and he took off for another adventure. Tessa stayed at home - she's a cargo worker - with her two kids and her father. Her husband, George, was also out there for work, only comes home once in a blue moon. At some point, after several of Tessa's letters to her husband, he comes home to find out what is bothering her. Their daughter Aya is being bullied at school, turns this event into wanting to leave the Fleet, which in turn makes Tessa also consider changing their way of living and thus opting again for a life on solid ground. Her father, Pop, would remain in the Fleet, because of his health and because there's an entire system set up to look after people like him.

Then there's Sawyer, a young immigrant who seeks his place in life and on the Fleet. He doesn't really know what to do, which job to take, or simply how to fill his days. Until he gets a job with a group that loots crashed spaceships. And they're not the only one. It's a dangerous job/game, but one that can generate a lot of income. Sawyer was very excited at first, but then his conscious took over, and he realised he was stealing stuff and not having an honourable job at all. But he had nowhere else to go, he couldn't quit during a mission. Finishing up, he wanted to look in an untouched room of a crashed spaceship. Little did he know of chemics, but that one door was his final. His body was disposed of, or so his employer thought. Police found it and sent it for investigation and transformation into soil. It was Kip who informed the police of what he had witnessed, although I don't know any more in detail how this came about.

Kip is a teenager who has the wrong kind of friend (Ras), the one who cheats with technology and what not to fool others in order to obtain what only adults can and may do / obtain / access / ... His parents lecture him, and one day, Kip does see the light. But he too is searching for a meaning in life, can't continue his job as apprentice. In the end, after having left the fleet to find out if the grass is greener on the other side, he learns about history, about heritage, about where mankind comes from, how important it is to know this and learn from it, he becomes a proper archivist and secure the future of mankind in the Fleet. Ras, meanwhile, succeeds in finding a place at one of the highly esteemed universities on Mars. The friendship between him and Kip, however, is over, especially since Kip realised it's wasn't doing him (Kip) any good.

Eyas is a caretaker. She transforms the bodies of the dead Exodans - that's how humans are called in the Fleet - into soil, which contributes to the sustainable development of the system. The Exodan Fleet does not dispose of its dead people by sending them into the sun or anything. The circle of life is kept intact.

Isabel is an archivist, has Kip as apprentice, and explains the life and culture of humans to a Aluon (one of the alien species) by the name of Ghuh'loloan, who chronicles everything for her own people. Each part of the book - there are seven - begins with a report by Ghuh'loloan. Interesting, philosophical stuff here and there.

And then there's a bunch of secondary characters to complete the list and bring the story to life, make things occur.

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Technology-wise there are scribs (advanced tablets), little bots that take care of your internal health, and so on. But in case of theft, as happened at Tessa's workplace), there is no CCTV, strangely enough, and very contrasting with the other technological infrastructure. Where's the logic in this?

People live in blocks, in hexes, small communities that support each other. The Fleet, as the whole structure is called, is self-sustaining, living like on Earth (with agriculture, schooling, and so on), but in space. Of course, they have to be careful with their resources, although nothing goes to waste, everything is reused one way or another. There is contact with alien population for trade and what not, but they obviously don't live like humans do. Man had to leave Earth, because man fucked up Earth. And without the Archives, the current population wouldn't know where they come from or why they're even in space. With a life in space comes the desire to know what life is like planet-side, and so some leave the Fleet to go live on another, hospitable planet, where one is not part of a system and has to look after oneself on one's own.

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There's again no real plot, the story revolves again around characters and world-building. Chambers once more paints a world in which everyone is / should be treated equally and in a caring way, with respect for each other and each other's desires / characteristics / ... It's a sort of feel-good story. I wouldn't read such a kind of story if it was set in everyday life. Setting it in space, in a new environment, creates the freedom to do more with it, to indeed add the philosophical input, the different surroundings, the need to adapt, ...

All three books in the series are very much worth reading, without a doubt. Becky Chambers lets a fresh wind blow in the world of SFF, tells a more positive story about humanity, shows that not all is bad, that mankind can f..., eh, mess up - pardon my English -, but can and should come back from that and set aright what was wronged. Furthermore, it's also, in a subtle way, a means to say: There is no plan(et) B. We must have more respect for Earth, for our heritage, for life in general.

I found this book a little less attractive and enticing than the first one, but overall a bit better than the previous one. Despite its little problems (which are subjective, of course), I can only recommend it. ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
Quite disappointing after the first two. The writing is nice and there’s nothing wrong with any of it, but there wasn’t really anything to get excited about either.

Not what I expected. The first two which had quite a lot going on in their own different ways, not much of either of them here. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Liked it, but I didn't love it like the others in this 'verse ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
Sigh. I was so prepared to love this. I liked the first book despite it being short on plot. And I loved the second, because it had more of a focused story. But this time the author seems to have forgotten what she learned in book 2 and just has characters go about their daily lives for 300 pages. Slice of life on a space station, I guess?

I like space stations, but there's only so much you can say about the anthropology of a single people, on a single fleet of orbiting ships. And there aren't even any aliens to speak of! I wanted somebody to fall in love, or blow something up, or solve a crime, or ANYTHING. Somebody dies, so I had hope that we would be cracking that case, but nope. That stuff happens off screen. We get to watch the corpse getting composted.

I'd still read anything else of hers, because when she's good she's great, but this one was just not that interesting. ( )
  jennelikejennay | Dec 31, 2020 |
The best one in an amazing series so far! ( )
  DPinSvezia | Nov 9, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chambers, Beckyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aquan, Richard L.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doll, ChristopherCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dulude, RachelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, KikuEndpaper artworksecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodriguez, PatriciaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Anne, who showed me I could.
First words
'Mom, can I go see the stars?'
Quotations
You believe in our way of life here? Cool. Implement those ways planetside. Make sure people don't forget. Make sure people remember that a closed system is a closed system even when you can't see the edges.
"I can only tell you what I *want* you to do, and that's based on my shallow impression of who you are and how I'd like your story to go. You can't operate by that. You're the only one who can think about what you *should* do. ... I'll only tell you if you understand that when a person tells you what they want of you, they're not deciding for you. It's their opinion, not your truth. Got it?"
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Return to the sprawling universe of the Galactic Commons, as humans, artificial intelligence, aliens, and some beings yet undiscovered explore what it means to be a community in this exciting third adventure in the acclaimed and multi-award-nominated science fiction Wayfarers series, brimming with heartwarming characters and dazzling space adventure. Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way. But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life?and is it worth saving at all? A young apprentice, a lifelong spacer with young children, a planet-raised traveler, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, and an Archivist whose mission is to ensure no one's story is forgotten, wrestle with these profound universal questions. The answers may seem small on the galactic scale, but to these individuals, it could mean everything.

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Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.

Tessa chose to say home when the brother Ashby left for the stars, but is forced to question that decision when her position in the Fleet is questioned.

Kip, a reluctant young apprentice, itches for change but doesn't know where to find it.

Sawyer, a lost and lonely newcomer, is just looking for a place to belong.

And when a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home cam no longer avoid the inescapable question:

What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?
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