THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET
Blending the finest elements of Star Trek and Firefly, Chambers’ episodic adventure is the definitive refutation to those folks in the SF world who believe social justice has no place in science fiction. Is it possible to respectfully explore these issues and still be … fun? Chambers, an heir to Gene Roddenberry if I’ve ever seen one, would say “hell yes.” The worldbuilding is excellent, the cast is filled with sympathetic and colorful characters and it expertly balances comic highs with emotional lows. This is the best of what science fiction can and should be.
Rosemary Harper is running from the past. Taking a job as a filing clerk aboard the Wayfarer, Rosemary leaves behind her formerly sheltered life for anonymity and adventure in space. When the Wayfarer takes on the intimidating task of punching a hole through space and time in service to their government’s treaty with a hostile species, Rosemary and the crew embark on a diverting and dangerous odyssey. Life with her crewmates isn’t always safe, but it’s also never boring. (HARPER VOYAGER, Jul., 464 pp., $15.99)