Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is my favorite science fiction novel of the 2010s. It’s the story of the crew of a starship that builds wormholes, which is basically spacefaring highway construction. Long Way is also empathetic, hopeful, and fun, and has great world-building and a variety of non-human species; the quick summary I’ve come to is “queer Firefly”. So I’m always excited for each of Chambers’ new works, the latest being To Be Taught, If Fortunate.

Unlike Chambers’ previous novels, To Be Taught is set separately from the “Wayfarers” series that Long Way began. Instead, it’s a very similar premise to Interstellar: a team of scientists is sent to multiple planets to see if they support life.

"Review": Umineko no Naku Koro ni

A few weeks ago I finished what I’ve been calling “that visual novel”:「うみねこのく頃に」, or “When the Seagulls Cry”. I was reading it in sync with a friend (a chapter at a time) so it took about a year and a half for us to actually get through all eight episodes.

And…wow. Totally worth it.

"Story of Your Life" (Re: Arrival)

Last December I posted a review of Arrival, the sci-fi movie with a linguist as the main character. TLDR? Its reach exceeding its grasp, and I was disappointed. I’m in the minority with this opinion—most people who saw it said it was solid sci-fi and much better than they expected—but I stand by it.

Like Cloud Atlas, I was intrigued enough to go read the original short story. Also like Cloud Atlas, everyone else in San Francisco had the same idea, so it was months before I actually got my hands on Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, the published anthology containing “Story of Your Life”.