Space Chillware

So this review caught my eye: Space Chillware: Record of a Spaceborn Few. This is of course the third book in Becky Chamber’s series, though evidently disconnected from the other two books — a standalone in the same universe.

Here’s what the review notes:

The setting was really interesting and philosophically fruitful: a fleet of generation ships dating back to a time before contact with aliens who possess advanced technology that made generation ships useless.  Instead of traversing the inky depths of interstellar space, the Fleet orbits a planet.  Still, the people continue to live there.  Why? It’s complicated.  But it prompts the existential question: What are we, the readers, doing on a rock hurtling through space heading nowhere in particular, destined to die?  It starts off subtle but it all gets pretty deep (we’re talking meaning-of-life type stuff, some of it – damn it – coming from the angsty teen).  This really surprised me considering a lot of the novel feels pretty… light and fluffy.  You could totally read this as a light and fluffy space romp and enjoy it just fine, but there are depths if you’re willing to look into the subtleties.

Some reviewers have complained that “nothing happens.”  It’s true that nobody is saving the galaxy here.  But galaxy-saving is a bit overdone, isn’t it?  This isn’t Space Opera as much as Space Chillwave.  

I enjoy the whole concept of Space Chillware. Since the story has a rating of 4.2 on Goodreads, with nearly two thousand reviews, apparently a lot of readers kind of feel the same way.

I haven’t read it yet. If you have, what did you think?

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3 thoughts on “Space Chillware”

  1. I enjoyed it. I might even go back to it, which I wouldn’t do for A Closed and Common Orbit. Like the reviewer said, it’s slow at the beginning, at least after the prologue, building up each character as opposed to immersing them in conflict. It’s a thoughtful work, exploring a theoretical society.

    There was just one piece I wish the author had added at the end. I thought she was building up to it, and then it turned out she had something else in mind. Which was also good.

    I think you’ll enjoy it too.

  2. I loved Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I didn’t love the next two books as much as Long Way. But I’d still recommend them all. I like the fact that many of the characters are peaceful, laid back, and, yes, “chill” and that this seems to be the default. It’s a kinder, nicer future universe (albeit with some problems or there wouldn’t be a story)! Very restful compared to the present day Earth.

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