Apr. 10th, 2017

Becky Chambers offers a most comfortable read with well sketched, endearing characters. Medic techie Kizzy reminds me of Kaylee from Firefly so much, in the best way. 'Specist' is a great epithet.
  • Ashby doesn't care much for gravity that can't be turned off.
  • We cannot blame ourselves for the wars our parents start. Sometimes the very best thing we can do is walk away.
  • Humans’ preoccupation with ‘being happy’ was something he had never been able to figure out. No sapient could sustain happiness all of the time, just as no one could live permanently within anger, or boredom, or grief.
  • She would never, ever understand the idea that a child, especially an infant, was of more value than an adult who had already gained all the skills needed to benefit the community. The death of a new hatchling was so common as to be expected. The death of a child about to feather, yes, that was sad. But a real tragedy was the loss of an adult with friends and lovers and family. The idea that a loss of potential was somehow worse than a loss of achievement and knowledge was something she had never been able to wrap her brain around.
  • The people we remember are the ones who decided how our maps should be drawn. Nobody remembers who built the roads.
  • That’s such an incredibly organic bias, the idea that your squishy physical existence is some sort of pinnacle that all programs aspire to.
  • "Want and intelligence,’ the historian had written, ‘is a dangerous combination.
  • Such a quintessentially Human thing, to express sorrow through apology.
  • Behold, my wonderboots! All the kick-ass of an Aeluon assault squad, combined with total ergonomic perfection! It’s podiatric madness! What are they? Are they big tough stompers? Are they comfy kick-arounds? No one knows! There are feats of science happening right over my socks as we speak!
  • Harmagians had money. Aeluons had firepower. Aandrisks had diplomacy. Humans had arguments.
  • So we travel to one end – whoosh – and all the people seeing us fly by are like, oh my stars, look at that totally amazing ship, what genius tech patched together such a thing, and I’m like, oh, that’s me, Kizzy Shao, you can all name your babies after me – whooosh – and then we get to our start point.
  • Perhaps the most crucial stage is that of ‘intraspecies chaos.’ This is the proving ground, the awkward adolescence when a species either learns to come together on a global scale, or dissolves into squabbling factions doomed to extinction, whether through war or ecological disasters too great to tackle divided.
  • In the space beyond was Hedra Ka. A cracking scab of a planet, choked with storms and veins of lava. A mist of rocks floated in orbit, a reminder of its recent formation. It was a young world, unwelcoming, resentful of its existence. ‘That is the angriest looking thing I’ve ever seen,’ Ashby said.
  • We are all made from chromosomes and DNA, which themselves are made from a select handful of key elements. We all require a steady intake of water and oxygen to survive (though in varying quantities). We all need food. We all buckle under atmospheres too thick or gravitational fields too strong. We all die in freezing cold or burning heat. We all die, full stop. <so convenient!>

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