I'm the world's biggest fan of odd couple buddy road trips in science fiction, and this odd couple buddy road trip is a delight: funny, thoughtful, touching, sweet, and one of the most humane books I've read in a long time. Published on 8 August 2019, To Be Taught, if Fortunate is Chambers first published novella outside of the Wayfarer universe. Dex (a nonbinary monk) and Mosscap (a robot) are travelling together from village to village, Mosscap in the hope of finding what it is that humans need and Dex in the hope of finding themself.
Instead, there was cream-colored paving, smooth as butter and just as warm, lined with signs people made to let other people know which way to go if they wanted to rest and eat and not be alone. As they mastered the art of brewing the perfect blend of tea whilst listening to the concerns of others, they still found a gaping hole in their life that they couldn’t fulfil.A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is maybe less of a continuation in feel, and more of one that explores the flip side of the relationship between Dex and Mosscap. The kind of lost you cannot help and cannot explain; there is only the feeling, deeper than words, that something is missing, something you hadn’t named yet, or perhaps you are simply not letting yourself know. The robot craned its head, looking at the storage crates tied to the roof of the vehicle that rattled with the internal shifting of yet more things.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built begins a series that looks optimistic and hopeful, pursuing stories that arise from abundance instead of scarcity, kindness instead of cruelty, and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.Dex watched the robot contemplate itself before the remains of the stolen tree, and likewise felt a thought take root. This is what I love most about these books—how they give language to those of us who never learned in college or media or life how to deal with being lost, with feeling that you have wandered out of the right life, forgotten who you are and kept turning up in all the wrong places assuming different faces. Chambers succeeds in building a warm, welcoming world for our characters, where Mosscap’s guiding question of “What do humans need?
EAN: a prayer for the crown-shy
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