29 Jan 2017

#52Wks52Bks: Week Five Recommendations + #Interview with BECKY CHAMBERS!

You may or may not know, but this year I am hosting a 2017 reading challenge! Every week for the whole year there are different themes and the idea is to read a book that fits the theme within that week! It will help you keep on track for your Goodreads Challenge as you will be at least thinking about a book for a whole week even if you don't quite get to it. 

But don't worry, if you don't finish a book or skip a week or start late, that's okay! This is just to make you think more about the types of books you are reading and to broaden your horizons.

If you didn't see the original post with all the challenges, click HERE.
If you are participating (or want to without checking, that's cool too), you can keep track of your reads with my Handy Dandy Charts.

This week's theme is...

Book You've Heard A Lot About But Haven't Read

Here are some books that I highly recommend that I *have* read that I think you guys should read! This way you have some books to choose from ;)

I'll be reading...


Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #1
Source: Purchased from Kobo
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: August 13, 2015


Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there. 

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war. 

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

I also have the wonderful Becky Chambers here for an interview so you can learn more about the book I am reading this week!

Describe THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET in 10 words or less.

Becky Chambers: A wormhole construction crew goes on a space road trip.

Which character from your book would you most like to be friends with?

Becky Chambers: That is a really tough call. I’m going to go with Dr. Chef. I just want to garden and eat snacks with him all day.

How is writing a sequel different to writing the first book in the series?

Becky Chambers: The biggest challenge is figuring out how much worldbuilding stuff to reiterate, and how much to let the reader remember on their own. I was constantly reminding myself that the only reason the lore is obvious to me is because I wrote it, and someone who read the first book a year or more ago will have forgotten things. That was an especially tricky thing to consider, given that A Closed and Common Orbit doesn’t follow the main characters from the first book and can be read as a standalone. I wrote it with the assumption that the reader’s read the first one already, but it had to work on its own as well. In the end, I decided not to repeat myself. I gave a few subtle reminders -- Aeluons don’t move their mouths when they speak, Harmagians use carts to get around, that kind of thing -- but for the most part, I trusted folks to follow along. 

Have you learned anything in the process of writing that you wished you'd known when you first started?

Becky Chambers: You will always, always, always think your work is terrible when you’re in the middle of getting it done. It doesn’t matter how many book deals you get or how many people tell you they like your stuff. All of us are our own worst critics. I’ve yet to meet an author who isn’t.

What's your favourite thing about being an author?

Becky Chambers: Creatively, I love being able to take something from inside my own head and put it into someone else’s. I think that’s kind of magic. And honestly, one of my favorite things is hearing how people interpret things differently than the way I imagined them. I get such a kick out of that. 

On the practical side, being my own boss is the best thing in the world. Yes, there are deadlines and whatnot, but for the most part, I’m on my own. I work when I want to work, I don’t have to stress about taking sick days or asking for vacation time, and I don’t have to sit around and look busy when I’m done for the day. It’s totally worth the quarterly taxes.

Why do you write Science Fiction novels?

Becky Chambers: Because I love real science. And yeah, I’ll be the first to tell you that my stories are not hard science fiction, so that may sound like a funny thing for somebody writing character-driven stuff to say. But science and science fiction have a symbiotic relationship, regardless of whether you’re drawing diagrams or not. It’s hard to find people working in STEM who weren’t inspired by books and TV shows when they were young. So I see myself as kind of a support class for the people who are doing what I view as the real important work. If all you get out of my books is a fun escape, then I’ve done my job, and I’m good with that. There’s value in taking your brain elsewhere for a while. But the hope that my stuff will spark an interest in space and exploration for someone out there is what keeps me working. And that doesn’t mean I want my readers to go for a career in science (though I’d consider that a huge achievement). Just an interest. A spark. I want people to care about space exploration. I want people to see the universe as something we’re a part of, something that belongs to us all equally. I want people to think about how small and fragile and precious our species is, and what we’ll need to prioritize if we want to keep existing. That’s why I write.

There was a lot of science involved in your book. What kind of research did you do?

Becky Chambers: I grew up in a family that works in science and aerospace, so a lot of it I just absorbed through proximity. My mom’s an astrobiology educator, so she’s usually my first stop when I have questions about whether or not something works the way I’ve written it. I like to keep things plausible, even if they’re unlikely. For The Long Way, I did spend some time in the library reading up on wormholes. The explanation I give in the book on how they work is pretty user-friendly, but I wanted to have a clear understanding of what I was riffing on. That’s true of most of the tech and physics in my books. If you’re going to mess with something, you have to know what you’re messing with.

Becky Chambers is the author of the award-nominated science fiction novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and its stand-alone sequel, A Closed & Common Orbit. She also writes nonfiction essays and short stories, which can be found in various places around the internet. In addition to writing, Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. Having lived in Scotland and Iceland, she is currently back in her home state of California. She can be found online at otherscribbles.com and @beckysaysrawr.

1 comment:

  1. Interview with Becky Chambers!!#&$&@+"(@?")$?@

    Yesssss. Thank you for this!


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