Review: Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

A 3:2 crop of the cover of Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.

From the Exodan Litany for the Dead

The thing about reading this series of books is that each one is different, featuring a different set of characters with different problems and a different set of themes. And yet, each one feels familiar, no matter the character, no matter the world, everything is written with a cozy compassion unlike anything I’ve ever read.

I found myself emotional and tearing up during the reading of each Wayfarers book and for different reasons. Record of a Spaceborn Few tells a story of the Exodans, a group of Humans living in closed spaceship based ecosystem.

We learn about their traditions, their rituals, we learn why they live this way. We learn about tragedy, conflict, their relations with outsiders. We learn all of this mostly from the Humans but also from one visiting Harmagian whose thoughts about the way Humans and Harmagians live were quite poignant. The way the Exodans handle death and funerals is really quite beautiful.

I found the communal living traditions and the systems of barter among the Exodans a nice change of pace from the drudgery of everyday capitalism. I also thought that the depiction of sex work and sex workers was done quite well and with an understanding of what sex work actually is.

Becky Chambers has not missed yet, this series continues to be some of the best speculative fiction I’ve ever read. Yes, I know I said that in the previous book‘s review, it needs to be said again. I am of course going to be continuing reading the series next week: The Galaxy, and the Ground Within. That is as far as I know the last book in the series, I am very much looking forward to seeing how the series wraps up.