Book for Thought: Taking Diversity to Outer Space

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was long listed for 2016’s Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction. The story is set in outerspace and on a multispecies wormhole-drilling spaceship known as the Wayfarer.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is the first book in the Wayfarer series, but I think it can be read as a standalone novel. Basic premise? When the captain is offered a warzone project that would financially secure the entire crew for life, he accepts it and so begins the journey to a small angry planet.

Here are some things you should know about the book:

1. Cultural Diversity
There’s a mix of humans (from Earth and Mars), extraterrestrials and AI (artificial intelligence). Because of this, a culturally rich backdrop is created. Each character comes with their own cultural and species history, along with unique emotional and physical distinctions.

2. Highly Imaginative
The story is highly imaginative; the author really paid a lot of attention to detail. The world building is quite intricate and original.

3. Political and racial issues
The book dealt with issues of politics, gender and race very smoothly, and it was actually quite optimistic. The best thing was how well ideas were integrated into the story, and as a result it did not seem like the author was trying to be instructional.

4. Character based
TLWTASAP is a very literary scifi; the author puts focus on the characters rather than the action, but don’t be mislead, the book has its share of thrilling moments.

5. Slice of life
Although it’s set in space, the book contains a lot of details about the day to day of life; food, relationships, comfort and even soap.

6. You’ll fall in love
The characters will make a home in your heart for all of eternity, and they will make you laugh out loud. This is a story with a lot of warmth and heart.

I definitely recommend everyone to pick up The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I’m reading more scifi books this year, so I was very grateful when Hodder Books sent me a copy to review. Check out the book on Goodreads, and buy it on Book Depository for $9.29 only (free shipping).

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