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To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella
To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella
To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella
Hörbuch4 Stunden

To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella

Geschrieben von Becky Chambers

Erzählt von Brittany Pressley

Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen

4/5

()

Über dieses Hörbuch

A stand-alone science fiction novella from the award-winning, bestselling, critically-acclaimed author of the Wayfarer series.

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in subzero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to journey to neighboring exoplanets long known to harbor life.

A team of these explorers, Ariadne O'Neill and her three crewmates, are hard at work in a planetary system fifteen light-years from Sol, on a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds. But as Ariadne shifts through both form and time, the culture back on Earth has also been transformed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the story of the wonders and dangers of her mission, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.

SpracheEnglish
HerausgeberHarperAudio
Erscheinungsdatum3. Sept. 2019
ISBN9780062959041
To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella
Autor

Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers is a science fiction author based in Northern California. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning Wayfarers series, which currently includes The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few. Her books have also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Locus Award, and the Women's Prize for Fiction, among others. Her most recent work is To Be Taught, If Fortunate, a standalone novella. Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. She spends her free time playing video and tabletop games, keeping bees, and looking through her telescope. Having hopped around the world a bit, she’s now back in her home state, where she lives with her wife. She hopes to see Earth from orbit one day.  

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Rezensionen für To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Bewertung: 4.204236006051437 von 5 Sternen
4/5

661 Bewertungen50 Rezensionen

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  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    I found this delightful. Becky Chambers writes with a lyricism that takes its simple plot to a point well beyond the norm or expectation. It is rewarding to simply take in her heroine’s private thoughts on the implications of her discoveries. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for something apart from the typical space western.
  • Bewertung: 2 von 5 Sternen
    2/5
    Well written, but almost totally lacking in plot, and hence does not engage the reader. Disappointed, as I've loved some of her other books.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    i've rediscovered a love of sci-fi and this novella was perfect to ease me back in.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    7/2021. The beginning of this novella indicated that it wasn't written with people like me as the intended audience, which is fine and meant I could put the plot to one side and enjoy the author's typically well executed writing about relationships, whether human to human, human to other species, or human to our habitat, until the end of the book.I'm assuming the ending was supposed to read as a triumph of hope over experience but to me it read as an attempt to justify abdication of self to the point of suicide and I was surprised Elena and Jack went along with what was presumably Ariadne's suggestion, especially after having seen her previously attempt suicide (but, as I observed earlier, I'm probably not the intended audience). It reminded me that when science fiction writers consult "experts" to assist with their "realism" they almost always mean scientists, and rarely to never mean psychologists or ethicists.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    In recent times I’ve often seen my fellow bloggers write enthusiastic reviews of Becky Chambers’ novels, and curiosity drove me to add her first book, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, to my TBR, but it was a comment about this novella that compelled me to start with her latest work, both because it afforded a quick peek into this author’s writing style and because of its intriguing concept of somaforming - the adaptation of the human body to alien environments in antithesis to the change of environment, or terraforming as a means to create a suitable living space.This initial detail is what informs the structure, the soul of the story if you want: a team of four scientists - Ariadne, Chikondi, Elena, and Jack - depart from Earth on the Merian, a long-range ship tasked with the exploration of a promising planetary system. Since the voyage will take several decades, the four explorers will go into suspended animation while in transit and during that time their bodies will undergo the necessary transformations that will allow them to survive in extreme conditions, like higher gravity or radiation exposure. The story is told in the form of a message/diary sent by Ariadne back to Earth, and from it we learn about the overcrowding and environmental troubles in our home planet, conditions that are driving humanity to search for viable places for colonies: what’s interesting here is that such expeditions are funded by a non-profit organization based on what essentially sounds like crowdfunding, which allows for a purely scientific research free from any kind of corporate exploitation.The tone of the novella is set by the sense of wonder coming across in the descriptions of the four planets visited by the explorers, the awe created by such diverse and astonishing landscapes: the four scientists are naturally intrigued by their findings and the discoveries they make in their travels, but they are also capable of pure joy at the alien vistas opening before their eyes. As an astronaut, you know conceptually that you’re going to another world, that you’re going to see alien life. You know this, and yet there is nothing that can prepare you for it.There is also a strong sense of family uniting them as well, the unspoken but ever-present awareness that they depend on each other in this little pocket of home away from home, and the definite sense of effortlessness in the ties that have come to bind them: shared love of pure science, of course, but also the realization that their individualities contribute to the healthy whole that is the Merian’s microcosm.Love of science - a science imbued with that sense of wonder and joy of discovery I spoke before, and therefore free from any pedantic connotation - and love of knowledge for its own sake are the underlying themes of the story and they stand at the root of the final conundrum facing the four explorers: a difficult decision that they don’t feel entitled to take on their own because it requires the support of all those who sent them into deep space to find the answers Earth needs. Just as the crew of the Merian did not travel so long with conquest or profit in mind, so they feel the need to engage their backers - or their descendants - in the next choice to be made: being so far away from home does not free them from the responsibilities and the moral obligations that have driven them so far, and so the poignant core of Ariadne’s message is “Where we go from there is up to you”, the willingness to share discoveries and goals and to invest in the hope for humanity’s future.If this first sample of Becky Chamber’s writing is indicative of what I can expect from her longer works, I believe I will quite enjoy the full-length novels I already set my eyes on…
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    SF novella about astronauts visiting other planets to explore the possibility of life. This is an amazingly written story. There isn't much of a plot, but it shines with the characters and the ideas brought up. It is very much a science SF with exploring different planet structures and how life can arise and adapt. The characters are well written and there is plenty of interaction to give it a sense of realism. I really enjoyed this book.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Wonderful as always from Bekcy Chambers, I am only deducting half a star, beause as an animal lover, I found one scene very distressing.
  • Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen
    3/5
    I listened to this book and got 43% into it when I stopped. It's all description. I never figured out what the protagonist was emotional about... She was just happy and content the whole time and describing things. The descriptions were interesting because I want to make stories about space travel... But not worth continuing further.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    This is not so much a novel (or, more accurately, a novella), as a philosophical and ethical examination of space travel within a fictional context. Becky Chambers’ work tends to be short on plot but long on characters that touch your heart. And while the relationships of the tiny cast of characters will strike a chord, it really is more a novel of ideas and ethics. While I didn’t need as many kleenex as for other Chambers novels, I did need a couple, and I appreciate the food for thought.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    I have been meaning to read this novella for ages as I really enjoy Becky Chambers writing. I enjoyed this as well - it's a consideration of how vast space could be covered and what that would mean. And the ethics of going to other planets - this is the ultimate version of Star Trek - do not mess with other cultures because we have no right to do so and it should be of everything on another planet, from a microbe upwards.Also I thought the end was as it should be based on that - the astronauts were representative of humanity - the mission & ethics were not to be abandoned simply because of a possible disaster. A novella to make you think.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    Four astronauts set out on a scientific mission: to see if life exists in a distant solar system. Their bodies will be put into a state of torpor for the 28 years it will take them to get there, and once on site, it will take messages to and from Earth 14 years to arrive. And if something were to happen back home...I'm still processing this one. Like Chambers' other works, the characters are lovely, their interactions marked with kindness and understanding. This book is very science-heavy, and I lack the knowledge to say whether it's accurately portrayed, but it's certainly believable. The ending is bittersweet and indeterminate, so don't expect everything to be tied up with a tidy bow. If you like science fiction that's heavy on the science and low on the interpersonal drama, this is definitely your novella.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    Loved this story of space exploration, while too short to have the kind of character development of the Wayfarers series, it had more plot and Chambers terrific writing style. The world building was great and the "Rats" will have me awake in bed at night listening for sounds around me.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Chambers is one of those authors who can bring rich emotional tapestries to science fiction worlds. She's also a queen of representation of lgbt characters. This book is no exception to those descriptions. My only problem with this book is that I needed more. That ending was an absolute cliffhanger. I want to know what happened! I know what she was going for, but don't leave me like this, story writers! Also, this story made me feel weirdly validated by the mention of an ambi person who was forced to be right-handed, the astronauts being basically a polycule, and the absolute love of science displayed by these characters. This whole thing was a joy to read. Well, maybe not Opera. That was hard.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    I loved this book. It's got astronauts and space problems and science ideas and optimism about humanity. There are multiple queer characters! And an asexual character, and a trans character! There's delight and despair and some of the best depictions I've seen of people dealing with mental illness. The protagonists are all very different people, but at the end of the day they all love science and they all love each other, and that gets them through. I wish there was more of this story! But, without going into spoilery detail, it's actually perfect for the format.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    I'd wanted to read a book by Becky Chambers for a while, and this seemed like a gentle introduction to her work. I really, really enjoyed it, and I will definitely pick up other things she's written when I get a chance.The four characters in this book form a crew sent from Earth to explore four alien worlds, studying the environment and lifeforms on each. Between worlds, the astronauts are put into states of torpor--essentially in suspended animation, they reemerge upon arriving on a new world. With these dramatic gaps in consciousness due to their travel, they also have to try to make sense of the fragmentary and belated news that they receive from Earth as time there progresses much more quickly (due to relativity) than it does to the astronauts.I deeply enjoyed this book. The descriptions were lovely, and the whole atmosphere felt slightly dream-like to me, in a really lovely way. I'm not giving it five stars because I do wish it had been a bit longer--in some places in this book, subtlety and brief mentions went a long way for me, but I do with that there had been a bit more elaboration at the ending.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    This book makes me ache. I'm doused in feelings of wonder, homesickness, awe, despair, guilt, regret, and intellectual joy. It has flaws. It's not perfect. The characters don't, I believe, change much or learn new things. But we see them go through good and bad very realistically, and they do have their own personalities. They also seemed to perfectly fit within the range of "NASA's ideal astronaut personality," which added realism.

    The details of their explorations and discoveries seem probable and realistic, too, and I enjoyed reading what I suspect is a distilled version of things and experiences scientists expect to encounter on life-bearing exoplanets.

    The story takes a while to get going. I was wondering why Ariadne was being so wordy in what was essentially a progress report. There's not much of a story arc, per se, either.

    I don't care. This book brought the feels. Wondrous, and devastating. I thought of Bradbury and Interstellar.

    But please, never send me to Opera. Thx.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    She hasn't lost her touch. This is a short book, and it could have been expanded into a full-length novel but she chose to keep it short and sweet. A first-person account, written as a letter to anybody left on earth after a scientific mission to four lesser planets and moons lose contact with the earth. The only criticism is that with only four characters in the book (the crew of the Merian) the non-pov characters could have been better developed, but there is only so much you can do with 140 pages.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone novel that I borrowed from the library. I have not read any other books by this author.Story (5/5): I absolutely loved this story. Ariadne and her three crewmates have left on a mission to survey four potentially habitable worlds. The mission is crowd-funded and Ariadne will be put in a sort of cryo sleep where they will age slower than they normally would (2yrs of aging for 20 years of travel). As Ariadne and her crewmates journey through amazing landscapes they are intermittently updated on what is happening on Earth...until they aren’t.Characters (5/5): I loved all of the characters in here. They all have their own strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. They were incredibly stable and supportive of each other through some amazingly trying situations. They were so well done and so relatable. Ariadne herself is very intriguing, she is the pilot but also kind of acts as the emotional glue that holds the crew together.Setting (5/5): I loved the amazing worlds that Ariadne and her crewmates journey to. The worlds are fascinating, contrasting, and just a wonder to read about. The description is well done and I wanted to continue journeying to new worlds, I was sad when it was over.Writing Style (5/5): This packs a huge amount of story in such a slim novella. This is set up as a sort of journal written by Ariadne. Just the descriptions and adventures on these amazing worlds would have been enough of a story for me. However, the intermittent news reports from Earth add a whole new dimension to the story. The ending of this was tough for me, I both absolutely adored it and kind of hated it. This was super easy to read and hard to put down and made me want to go check out Chambers full length novels.My Summary (5/5): Overall I loved this. If you enjoy space travel, visiting amazing new worlds, and watching humans try to survive in demanding conditions I would recommend. This is a wonderful story full of adventure, exploration, and some discussion of the human condition as it is. I loved it and will be checking out other novels by Chambers.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    This is one of the best actual SF stories I've read in a long time - the descriptions of the science, the explanations, the justification for the level of detail - done so amazingly well. The writing is sublime, the world building is fascinating -- each of the planets visited so different, so detailed, so real--, and the pacing is exquisite. The characterisation is wonderful - at no point did I dislike any of them, for anything. It shows that a story with dramatic tension and colour needs no extravagant discord between characters (there are disagreements, but they are presented at some remove). All this, and there were so many other details I loved. The casual mentions of sexuality, with one bisexual and one asexual character, and neither of these things are dramatic or important to the plot. The accurate and conflicting representations as slow, careful, repetitive, and yet exhilarating when something is found. The delightful naming schemes of the discovered organisms, in keeping with earth taxonomy. Chikondi's pleasure in growing plants, Jack's obsession with rocks, Elena's focus on weather and routine. The way that even at the start of the story, the political landscape of Earth isn't one I recognise. Highly recommended.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    One of the best books I've read in a long time. I'll have to re-read this again soon. Not the ending I expected, and I loved it.

    There were some interpretations of science that I thought were technically incorrect at the end, but perhaps it was written that way for dramatic effect. I'd quote here and explain, but it's my favorite part of the book, so I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    An absolutely spellbinding novella. I loved every second of it.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Not a long book but a rich one. Full of meaning and hope. It is also an affimation of the power and nobility that drives the spirit of discovery.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    This was absolutely outstanding scifi, and one of the best books I've read this year. Full of heart, science, and contemplation. Ugh, so good.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    It’s a very good story, I’m just not a fan of the long monologue at the end which is why I give it a 4/5.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    This is a novella-length story about four astronauts exploring four alien planets while decades pass on Earth and things change significantly there.I've really loved some of Chambers' other books, but I found this one kind of a disappointment by contrast. It seems like the sort of thing that should appeal to me, space enthusiast and giant science nerd that I am. It's all about the satisfaction of scientific discovery and the choices we make about whether exploration is something we value or not. But the truth is, I found it absurdly slow-reading for something this short. The science stuff wasn't nearly in-depth enough or the the thrill of discovery thrilling enough to satisfy the science-nerd part of my brain, and the rest of me kept wishing for a little more plot. The mystery of exactly what's happened back on Earth while our heroes were out exploring elsewhere provides a tiny bit of tension, but less than you'd think, and the answer, when it came, did not remotely land for me with the kind of emotional impact you'd expect.Not that it's a bad book. The writing is fine. The alien planets are at least mildly interesting. The characters, while lightly sketched, do feel like people. And I really do appreciate the themes and questions it raises, especially at the end. But I do wish it had been a little bit more... something.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Superb! Fourth win for Becky Chambers, and for her readers.
  • Bewertung: 2 von 5 Sternen
    2/5
    Science fiction portrays interplanetary exploration and development two ways. One, like Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars involves terraforming, whch involves creating a climate on a planet more hospitable to humanity. This novella, like Frederik Pohl's Man Plus, involves altering human's anatomy and physiology to enable him or her to survive on another planet. In this novella, this process is known as somaforming. Modifications include increased muscular enhancements to cope with planetary bodies with greater gravitational pull or a form of antifreeze in the circulatory system to improve survival in subzero temperatures.Set at the turn of the 22nd century, Ariadine O'Neill and three other scientists are exploring a planetary system 15 light years from Earth. The novella is divided in four parts as the scientists travel to each of four planets of differing climes and ecologies. Each scientist aboard realize that Earth history is moving faster than from their perspective in space; therefore, Earth would be radically different when, and if, they return.Besides one event on a water world, this novella lacked any tense or suspenseful moments. Although it was interested to read of the author's description of these four planet's environment, there wasn't enough to hold my attention. Thank goodness this work of fiction was short. At times, I felt as if I was reading a National Geographic article.
  • Bewertung: 4 von 5 Sternen
    4/5
    I liked this well enough, but it felt a bit like I was waiting for a shoe to drop the entire time. And it did eventually drop. I don’t know if this was skillful foreshadowing, or if it was just too obvious a plot. Maybe I should mark this review as containing spoilers, even though I’m not getting into specifics.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    Another great story from Becky Chambers. This novella is very well-written and a pleasure to read.
  • Bewertung: 5 von 5 Sternen
    5/5
    A message in a "bottle" narrative which describes the voyage of one of a number a publicly funded space explorations. Using a modest palette of notions the encounters on the planetary bodies of a system are wondrous and baleful or both.