• The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

  • Wayfarers, Book 1
  • By: Becky Chambers
  • Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (2,742 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Series!

The acclaimed modern science-fiction masterpiece, included on Library Journal's Best SFF of 2016, the Barnes & Nobles Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Best Books of 2015, the Tor.com Best Books of 2015, Reader’s Choice, as well as nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Kitschie, and the Bailey's Women's Prize.

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space - and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe - in this lighthearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star. 

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks, who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain. 

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy - exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs - an experience that teaches her about love and trust and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

©2015 Becky Chambers (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: Our Editors Recommend—Further Listening for Star Wars Fans


With more than 150 books in the Star Wars audioverse alone, there's certainly no shortage of adventures in our favorite galaxy far, far away. But let's say you've absorbed the very best of both Canon and Legends, watched the films and television shows time and again, and have exhaustively played through extended universe games (video and tabletop alike). If you're looking for something new, our Audicted to Sci-Fi editorial team has you covered.

Editor's Pick

One ticket aboard the Wayfarer, please
"This delightful listen is like experiencing the phenomenon of summer-camp-level friendship as an adult. As her characters explore the stars, Chambers explores the importance of found family—highlighting the many forms in which friendship and romance can come."
Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

One of the worst books I've ever read

This book was imaginitive with no risk and even less reward. At no point was there any fear of anything bad happening to any of the main characters. Every time they came upon a situation there was no risk of them ever actually being harmed and early in the book it was apparent that this was how it would be.

The interpersonal relationships are a huge kumbaya session. The only character that ever makes a difficult decision was the "a-hole" of the group (who is almost a relatable character because he's the only one who isn't completely saccharine). Kizzie is one of the most obnoxious characters ever written. She's basically a pre-teen who can fix stuff. The main character is basically a blank slate with no discernable traits with a backstory that makes it nearly impossible to believe that she would choose the new life she has. The only character ever put at risk never really was (and basically couldn't be because they're an AI). Even guaranteed death really isn't. There is always a convenient out for every situation facing the cast of characters. Nobody ever gets frustrated. Whenever someone even hints at an issue it's quickly resolved with no even small amount of friction.

The narrator: serviceable if you don't mind listening to stories read to you by a kindergarten teacher as if you're a kindergartner. Her pronunciation of very simple words completely took me out of the story. Artigrav (artificial gravity) pronounced to rhyme with mauve. Heretics pronounced in a way that I feel a narrator probably shouldn't.

The world building was great. The species are great, I'd love to read a story in this world with an actual plot and some stakes and character development that make you care. And if you're the type who needs it there is every type of representation imaginable. As a matter of fact, the only type of relationship not mentioned might very well be a heterosexual relationship (if memory serves.) Overall, very disappointed and quite frankly surprised at some of the glowing reviews that led me to this book.

87 people found this helpful

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please skip this book

there is a fine line between being influenced by other people's work, and flat out plagiarism. this guy basically mashed Firefly and farscape into a bland pointless past. he clearly has some kind of fetish for Kaylee in Firefly to the point the book is centered around a what should be a side character. all that aside it's a book about nothing. nothing happens, some things almost happen, but then nothing continues to happen and the story randomly jerks to some other nothing story. I cannot stress enough how much I advise against this book, I want those hours of my life back

61 people found this helpful

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A great title --- but that's all

I hoped I could finish this novel by using it as a sleep book -- a peaceful book without much action or drama to go to sleep to. And it IS that, so if you have less insomnia than I do, you may like it for that purpose. Being wakeful, however, I noticed that everything is about female interests of a mundane nature: our heroine has to pee for a LONG time at the very beginning, what with a wildly impractical deep space transport with no bathroom for three days. I couldn't believe anything like that would be built and used in space. This text went on and on, uncomfortably and pointlessly. Then it was about relationships, curtains in her room, clothes, food, how friendly people were or weren't. What is science fiction about any of this? Most of our heroine's interests revolved around Diversity. This was an insistently political correctness focus with alien species standing in for race. All the required college class buzzwords are trotted out and used repetitively. All I could think of was how much better they did alien interactions in the 1950s. Then there was the triviality of the plot. I bailed out when the AI named "Lovey," like Pinocchio, says she wants to become a Real Girl. She is in love with a dwarf, named Janx (more diversity, I suppose), and wants to look like and be like just whatever he wants her to be. Blech.

40 people found this helpful

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Rich, charming, and really interesting!

Don't let the lighthearted descriptors fool you, this book starts a fascinating speculation into a space-faring future and offers endless friendly invitations to think about the nature of humanity, identify, relationships, family, and an array of other common concepts. And don't let all that fool you either. This book does all that in a completely approachable, familiar, and even lovable way. It's filled with great characters, funny moments, tense moments, surprises and satisfaction. All in front of the evolving backdrop unveiling of a fascinating future reality. The narration is truly enjoyable with great characterization and timing. Highly recommend.

Note: this is not a book for those looking for conflict, action, and pew pew pew. Those books are great too, but this isn't that.

35 people found this helpful

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doesn't seem to have a point

it just tells a long winded boring story with no conclusion or point of view.
Characters, world building and everything seems procedural... I got nothing from this book and I wonder why it was published.

29 people found this helpful

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  • DG
  • 11-15-19

Beautiful Story

This book is amazing. It’s full of compassion, caring, friendship and wonderful life lessons of tolerance. I would recommend this to everybody! It’s so entertaining I was thinking about it even when I wasn’t listening.

23 people found this helpful

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Very bad... Performance

Full disclosure, I returned this book. The narration was halting and slow, like Dulude was reading with her fingertips and had trouble finding the next line on the page. Even at 1.5x speed it was distracting. I would have finished the book if this wasn’t an issue.

The setting seems interesting and had potential, but it took a back seat to the character introductions and poorly delivered world building. It didn’t have enough pull to get me through the mind numbing pauses in narration.

21 people found this helpful

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Space Doesn’t Have to Be Full of Action, As Long As it’s Full of Charming People

This is a sci-fi book chalk full of universe lore with interesting biology, evolution, and intercultural dynamics in galaxy loaded with unique species in a far distant future. But unlike other sci-fi novels that either put you to sleep with over-exposition or expect you to do background homework to understand the lore, A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet introduces the reader naturally to the universe through Becky Chambers delightfully charming characters of the Wayfarer space vessel, who are absolutely the highlight of this humorous and intelligent road trip through the stars.

14 people found this helpful

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A Firefly type ensemble, but the story needed work

This book has incredible world building and an ensemble crew that I absolutely loved, but the story was just not very engaging. I'm still giving it 5 Stars because the world and people were just that good.

I'm giving the performance 5 Stars because Rachel Dulude really brought out the personalities in the characters.

18 people found this helpful

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I Love and Hate This Love It or Hate It Book

I want to write two reviews of this book -- a 5-star review raving about how much I loved this shaggy dog of a book, and a 1-star review ranting about its myriad flaws. I'm going to split the difference and discuss both aspects.

We're on board the Wayfarer, a "tunneling" ship that blasts the quantum wormholes that are used to travel large distances across the galaxy. We're a diverse crew that includes humans, AI's, and several other species, including one that still challenges our use of personal pronouns even this far into future. The humans are the survivors of environmental disaster that ravaged the Earth and forced an exodus to Mars and space beyond. We're going on a trip to the center of the galaxy that takes us to space stations, moons, home planets, and other familiar science fiction locales.

I normally prefer character-driven stories over plot-driven stories. The problem here is not that there is no plot -- a handful of dramatic events and moments of conflict are quickly, easily, and positively resolved. The problem is that the characters do not develop -- they are predetermined tropes, and so they remain from start to finish. Each figures into the story in a way that shows us their backstory, but there is no further development. The world building is fine, except that a) the science fact is minimal and sketchy, and b) the continuation of the series is not a continuation of these stories and these characters (mostly).

But, it's fun! The tone of the writing and the narration, while borderline juvenile, is nevertheless engaging. The characters are likeable enough that you don't really notice that they're cutouts that never grow. This is basically a theme park ride through space, the kind you hope you can take some day, without any risk ever intruding on your fun. The whole shebang is basically an exercise in diversity training, but even if you're prone to being annoyed by that, it's nothing you haven't heard before and it's not particularly off-putting -- nor is it the least bit illuminating.

Obviously, there are a lot of reviews that disagree with the fun side, and with the notion that the diversity themes are benign. On the latter score, nothing can be done about that. On the flip side, there are a lot of readers who loved this, despite the utter banality that underlies its fun veneer. This is a textbook love it or hate it book. My problem is that I loved it and I hated it.

6 people found this helpful