a closed and common orbit – Becky Chambers

a closed and common orbit TL

“Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence.
When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She’s never felt so alone. But she’s not alone, not really.
Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.
Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it’s anything but empty.”

the long way to a small angry planet became one of my favourite books immediately, and a closed and common orbit is on the way to the same. It’s a real balm of a book, love and friendship in space with a rich and detailed universe of goings-on to hang out in too.

The split narrative of a closed and common orbit tells the story of Pepper looking out for Lovelace as they come to terms with living in a body, and of Pepper’s childhood when she began to learn there was a whole galaxy out there.

I love the small touches in these books – in the long way to a small angry planet, a character seriously messes up some negotiations after making an inappropriate hand gesture, and in a closed and common orbit, Lovelace gets a tattoo with unfortunate side-effects. The hinting at a larger world, at a great cultural depth, is done with small touches and hints, light brushstrokes giving a peek at the broader canvas.

These are well worth reading over and over, uplifting as they, with an overwhelming sense of celebration; enjoying life and everything in it.

Get the long way to a small angry planet and a closed and common orbit here.

For fans of Station Eleven, All The Birds In the Sky.

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