A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers

Review copy provided by the publisher.

This is very much like the other things Becky Chambers has published, and also substantially different.

The elements that are very much like are the gentleness, the belief that humans might relate to each other better in the future, that better human structures are possible; the knowledge that small comforts matter but are not the only thing that matters; the sense of people of goodwill who are bewildered by a very complicated universe but trying their best.

The elements that are substantially different: everything else I’ve read by Chambers has been very focused on space, on built environments. This book is explicitly in a world that has been ravaged by a climate apocalypse, among humans who have had to figure out a better way. It has a strong focus on sustainability. And it also has bunches and bunches of enthusiastic nature-loving robots who wandered off into the wilderness generations ago.

I suspect that this means that the people who have loved Chambers’s work in the past will still love this one, and also some additional people who like other subgenres of science fiction will love it too. I am very fond of Sibling Dex the tea monk and Mosscap the robot, and the indications that this will be a series make me very happy.

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