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Publisher's Summary

In A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers's delightful new Monk & Robot series gives us hope for the future.

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 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.

Becky Chambers' new series asks: In a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

A Macmillan Audio production from Tordotcom

©2021 Becky Chambers (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Editor's Pick

Feel-good, feel all the feels sci-fi
I’m always excited for a new Becky Chambers title—but even more so for a brand-new series. Her distinct style of cozy sci-fi manages to somehow be at once heartwarming and thought-provoking—two things that are exactly what I need right now. Even with her nonhuman characters (here: robots!), her stories restore my hope in humanity. I’m extra thrilled to discover a new narrator in the process, as Emmett Grosland brings voice to an unlikely friendship between a robot and a tea monk. —Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about A Psalm for the Wild-Built

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I just didn't get it

I didn't get the point of this story.

Also, the use of plural pronouns for single people really confused me as half the time I thought more than one entity was being referred to. I'm sure in written form it would have been less confusing as the context would have been easier to follow.

I understand & support the use of gender neutral pronouns, but we English speakers need to come up with a better solution than using the plural for the singular. Maybe not using pronouns? Maybe using singular verbs when using plural pronouns as singular pronouns? Maybe some new pronouns (many SF books have done this)? In the case of this story, writing in the first person instead of the third person would have greatly reduced my confusion.

7 people found this helpful

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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

This was absolutely WONDERFUL! It is like a continuation of the wonderful Ursula K. LeGuinn narrative, one of my very favorite things! I really love the idea of a "tea monk". I would like Sibling Dex to camp on our front yard for a few days, when this heat-wave breaks. I have read everything Becky Chambers has published, and always hate having to wait for more. Her writing always makes me happy. Thank you so very much, Becky!

7 people found this helpful

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A Balm of a Psalm

(Possible spoilers ahead.)
I’m always ready for a Becky Chambers book. Where The Wayfarers was about finding family in an exciting but high-stakes and sometimes brutal future, A Psalm for the Wild-Built is pastoral and meditative in a setting where humanity managed to unf*ck itself.
Human Dex is a monk who travels and serves tea and comfort and is successful in their service to others, but finds themselves empty and depressed. Dex’s future is comfortable and safe: when robots gain sentience, humans set them free, and humans radically reboot their lives to sustainability.
Dex recognizes that they have everything they need, and are furious that they have an emotional pain they can’t heal no matter what they try. Readers will know long before Dex does that Dex is burnt all the way out from caring for everyone but themselves.
Dex meets and travels with Mosscap, a guileless, gentle, and annoyingly curious robot that has volunteered to leave the wilds to see what humans need.
When Dex reveals to Mosscap why Dex is confused and hurting, I was full on crying. I was touched by Chambers’ depiction of Mosscap’s kindness, and related so much to Dex’s fear of starting over.
Emmett Grosland was fantastic at bringing Chambers’ words and characters to life. Not gonna lie: I adore Mosscap as Grosland portrays them. What a pure robot.

Highly recommended.

Something that doesn’t have anything to do with the writing or performance that I think is worth mentioning is the unevenness in the sound quality. Some sections of the audio were fuzzy, and others clear, and it was unrelated to the text. Emmett Grosland would sound like two different performers, because the recording gave them two different pitches. This didn’t ruin the book for me, but it was baffling given that this is an audiobook from a major publisher.

3 people found this helpful

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a must read

absolutely beautiful. They have outdone themselves on this one. reaches out and touches the heart of our world lacking direction.

2 people found this helpful

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A Soothing Validation for Anyone Who’s Ever Felt Lost in Life

This book spoke to my heart. I’ve often found myself dissatisfied with a perfectly comfortable life, a more than adequate vocation, and wonderfully caring community. This story felt like a validation of that unintelligible, albeit not uncommon, human predicament… that yearning for more. Purpose, meaning, wholeness. If you’re into allegory, nature, sci-fi, philosophy… or if you just have a nagging sort of wanderlust that often creeps in on you… this book will surely be a worthwhile listen… and quite possibly more.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun novella

Enjoyable novella set in a world I hope the author revisits. Made me delighted to have a friendly tea shop right up the road. Cozy SF needs to become more of a thing (it might already be), because this made my morning brighter.

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Chamber's best so far

An outstanding, life affirming tale. lt reveals mich of the mystery of our existence in life.

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Delightful and fresh

Full of all the charming warmth that is Becky Chambers’ hallmark, but treads new ground from the Wayfarer series. Emmett Grosland’s reading is deft and enjoyable.

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stunning

I hope this gets made into film. just wow. I was NOT ready for it to end.

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Wow, what a great book!

This is what a sci-fi novel should be. This beautiful book to the love of the world and the love of science and humanistic ideas. This has been nothing but a joy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amy Brennan
  • 07-13-21

Wholesome Goodness

This is a book for our times. It’s gentle, & good & will resonate with anyone who’s burned out by *gestures at everything*

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-19-21

A different kind of sci fi.

I've been looking for a book like this, for a very long time regardless of whether ive known it.

I'm not usually one to write reviews but i owe this book after listening to it in one sitting, completely engrossed and at peace, so bear in mind my words are biased and unlikely to explain the book well enough compared to the other reviews.

Simply put, this book, in a future absent of any material or ecological stresses, deals with the nature of purpose and choice and the nature of consciousness. This sounds boring and unthrilling, and compared to, say, the expanse series, it's pretty chilled out. But throughout the duration it really makes you question a lot of assumptions, but also of your own mindset.

I honestly just fannot recommend this book enough. If it's not for you, whatever, its short and sweet so you'll not be wasting too much of your life. But if you need some time, to think and unwind, this book is meditation written on paper.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dominic Carter
  • 08-13-21

Book like a warm mug of tea

Becky Chambers writes the most beautiful sci-fi I've read. Her characters feel like rich and deep beings with familiar emotions. She's stand out in this way for me. Read her stuff <3

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lilylilydora
  • 08-15-21

love Becky Chambers!

we all need these stories in our lives. Becky Chambers is visionary and wonderful

1 person found this helpful

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  • Judi Blakeburn
  • 08-08-21

Lovely

A delight as well as deeply thought provoking.
Simplicity gentleness yet riveting with so much more to find out in books to come

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 07-23-21

Just beautiful.

A beautiful story of self discovery.

Perhaps we should all go in search of the crickets.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Holly
  • 10-23-21

too short/unsatisfying

sorry but it felt like the first 2 opening chapters of a book. we didn't get to the meat. and it felt like a clunky vehicle to give an underdeveloped societal observation/mental health message about our purpose as humans. wouldn't recommend! I did enjoy the tea monk concept and seeing a human and our lives through the excited eyes of discovery of a robot. that aspect was really cool!

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  • Austra
  • 09-21-21

Quite nice

I must admit I was a bit disappointed with this book, because I expect more from Becky Chambers. That being said, the world-building is first class stuff, she throws you in a completely new and rich world, but it is never confusing. The idea itself felt a bit underwhelming for me, but maybe I'm just not the target audience.

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  • Bob
  • 09-16-21

Liked this very much.

Emmett Grosland did a lovely job of performing this work

The story is very Becky Chambers. Slow burning. All about the characters. My only complaint is about using "they" and "theirs" as a non gender singular. It only worked when the character was on their own. Once two or more characters were doing the same thing or traveling in the same direction, it kept throwing me out of the story. I had difficulty knowing if two people were doing something or one. I would have preferred a non-standard choice such as "ser" or "tey".

That apart this was a great book

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  • Lisa
  • 09-14-21

Not much happens

I've loved her previous books. This felt like the first few chapters of a longer story. Just started to get into it and it was over before anything much had happened.

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  • Janine M. Cobb
  • 07-18-21

Another great book

Becky Chambers was a recent discovery of mine, I recently enjoyed all of the excellent Wayfarer series and was excited to see this new release. I had a little trepidation, as robots are not really my jam, however they did not disappoint. Listening to a book by Becky is like sinking into a warm bath, the Utopian world, the gently philosophical storyline, and very likeable characters all make for a wonderful escape. I look forward to further instalments.

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  • Vicki
  • 09-07-21

I love Becky Chambers

very different from her other stuff but still very enjoyable.
cute lil solar punk book. can't wait for the sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Phoebe
  • 08-24-21

Sweet & beautiful story that's a bit light on plot

A beautiful & heartfelt book. More a meditation on philosophical & ethical ideas than a narrative. Chamber's has created a lovely vision of a kinder world. I did not find the use of the 3rd person pronoun for the main character obtrusive. The whole book is from their perspective & there are few group interactions so it's not confusing. Once you adapt your thinking to this way of speaking. Would be a good book for exposing younger people to these harmonious concepts.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-21

Beautiful

A wonderful story about the illusion of purpose and the strange places it drives us to. And how its ok to just be alive and experience the world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mindy
  • 08-09-21

so beautiful and poignant

I loved spending time with Dex and Mosscap and was very sad to leave them. Beautifully written, wonderful wordplay. A joy to listen to. Elicits heartfelt emotions around what it means to be sentient and alive.

1 person found this helpful