A Psalm for the Wild-Built
It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.
One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the…
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Why read it?
5 authors picked A Psalm for the Wild-Built as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Though gender fluidity has been a part of Becky Chambers’s work since her debut, this nonbinary giant was especially struck by her 2021 novel, A Psalm for the Wild-Built. It’s a thoughtful, witty, meditative story set in a distant eco-utopia where gender variance is simply part of the norm, with characters naturally identifying as she, he, or they without any kind of fanfare. It may not be the most dramatic read, but seeing as we live in a world where people are killed for not conforming to a gender binary, weaving this quiet acceptance into an optimistic vision for the…
From Redfern's list on sci-fi and speculative stories depicting queer lives.
This book is about a non-binary tea monk traveling with a robot that is on a mission to collect feedback on how the humans are doing since the robot uprising. I know what you’re thinking…how the heck is this considered cathartic. It’s filled with philosophical gems like: “We don’t have to fall into the same category to be of equal value.” Or, “You keep asking why your work is not enough, and I don’t know how to answer that, because it is enough to just exist in this world and marvel at it. You don’t need to justify that, or…
From Emily's list on a catharsis tea party for your book club.
Becky Chambers is an auto-buy author for me. I loved her Wayfarers series and this novella didn’t disappoint. A lot of science fiction can be dark, but this little book was full of so much loveliness and hope and beauty. It’s about a tea monk searching for their place and when they encounter a robot in the wilderness, there are plenty of funny and sweet moments to get your serotonin levels up.
From Lisa's list on to read if you need a dose of serotonin.
This book is the most wholesomely indulgent thing I’ve read all summer. It’s both an escape to somewhere better, and a promise OF somewhere better existing. A world where our needs are met, we take care of each other, and where you can go looking for the songs of crickets to soothe your soul. I’ll give you a taste with one quote.
“Do you not find consciousness alone to be the most exhilarating thing? Here we are, in this incomprehensibly large universe, on this one tiny moon, around this one incidental planet, and in all the time this entire scenario…
From O. E.'s list on a future worth living in.
It's been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools. Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again. Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.
One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They're going to need to ask it a lot.
From Lauren's list on uplifting climate fiction.
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