Becky Chambers' 'A Closed and Common Orbit' brought me to tears

Chamber's second novel, A Closed and Common Orbit, in her Wayfarer series is so wonderful I cried several times.

A Closed and Common Orbit picks up immediately after Chambers' first story, Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet concludes but is barely an extension of that tale, beyond further expanding on Chambers' wonderful universe. This novel follows a newly created, but ultimately undesired, shipboard AI that is forced to leave its vessel and take up a fugitive residence in a human appearing shell.

Assisted by Pepper, a human who was genetically engineered as a slave, the AI has to find everything from a name to determining a purpose for itself. Completely out of the element for which it was designed, the AI struggles with friendships and body integrity disorder.

I cried several times.

The story alternates between that of the AI and Pepper, her human guardian. Briefly introduced as a very interesting Maz Kanata type in the first book, I wanted to learn more about Pepper. I was not disappointed, as her backstory is equally touching and tear-inducing. Genetically engineered to help sort and recycle junk, Pepper unwittingly escapes her keepers and spends years in a city-sized junkyard restoring a small spaceship.

This wonderful search for meaning and identity in a harsh, harsh world is a must-read.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers via Amazon

Previously on Boing Boing:

I absolutely loved Becky Chambers' 'The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet' Read the rest