Entry updated 26 June 2023. Tagged: Author.
(1985- ) US-born author – now living in Reykjavik, Iceland – and Videogame columnist for The Mary Sue website, who has also written nonfiction for Tor.com and whose sf debut was the thoughtfully romantic Space Opera The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2014). This, after becoming the first self-published novel to be shortlisted for a Kitschies award, was reissued by a leading UK publisher in 2015. The human heroine signs up with the jobbing Starship Wayfarer, which bores new Wormholes through or beneath interstellar space to facilitate Faster Than Light travel; its seemingly ill-assorted crew, including Aliens and an AI, has the air of a family with variously lovable, capable, eccentric and dysfunctional members, depicted with warmth, Humour and some discreet interspecies Sex. Various complications inevitably ensue, including near-Disaster following contact with a race of xenophobes at the titular destination. Interestingly, and against the general grain of space opera, the Wayfarer team eschews Weapons and deals with its crises using co-operation and diplomacy. A loose sequel in what has become known as the Wayfarers sequence is A Closed and Common Orbit (2015), a planet-bound tale in which the ship's AI, illegally downloaded into a humanoid Robot body, finds companionship and with some difficulty comes to terms with this new existence. Elsewhere in the Wayfarers universe, Record of a Spaceborn Few (2018) centres on humanity's Exodus Fleet of Generation Starships which left Earth shortly before it became uninhabitable; friendly Alien worlds and Cities now accept human refugees, whose loss threatens the integrity of the fleet; again this is a novel of coming to terms with the situation. The Wayfarers sequence won the Hugo for best series in 2019. Chambers has stated (2021 Imaginary Worlds podcast) that the fourth volume, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (2021), concludes the sequence; it won a 2021 Kitschies award as best novel.
A second series, Monk and Robot, opens with A Psalm for the Wild-Built (2021), a gentle tale of philosophical discussions between a Tea Monk and a wandering Robot in a low-key Far-Future Utopia long after robot emancipation and some considerable degree of recovery from the upheavals of Climate Change; the story won a Hugo as best novella. It was followed by A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (2022), which won a Locus Award as best novella. [DRL]
Rebecca Marie Chambers
born California: 3 May 1985
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Scotts Valley, California: CreateSpace, 2014) [Wayfarers: pb/Christopher Doll]
- A Closed and Common Orbit (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2015) [Wayfarers: hb/]
- Record of a Spaceborn Few (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2018) [Wayfarers: hb/]
- The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2021) [Wayfarers: hb/]
Monk and Robot
- A Psalm for the Wild-Built (New York: Tordotcom, 2021) [Monk and Robot: hb/Feifei Ruan]
- A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (New York: Tordotcom, 2022) [Monk and Robot: hb/]
- To Be Taught if Fortunate (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2019) [hb/Alyssa Wynans]
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