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To Be Taught, If Fortunate

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the galaxy transform themselves.


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 sub-zero 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 explore neighbouring exoplanets long suspected to harbour life.

Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds fifteen light-years from Earth, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.


‘Becky Chambers is a wonder, and I feel better for having her books in my life’ JOHN CONNOLLY

‘Explores the quieter side of sci-fi while still wowing us with daring leaps of imagination’ iBOOKS

‘So much fun to read’ HEAT

‘This is a superb work from one of the genre’s rising stars’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

‘The most fun that I’ve had with a novel in a long, long time’ iO9
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items

On Sale: 7th August 2019

Price: £6.99

ISBN-13: 9781473697171


An intensely powerful and multifaceted meditation on time, history, change, and memory, leavened with a welcome touch of humor . . . This is a superb work from one of the genre's rising stars
Publishers Weekly
The most fun that I've had with a novel in a long, long time
Checks all the boxes . . . driven by well-drawn, likable, and diverse characters in a complex future world
Barnes & Noble
Deeply moving... the sparky empathy of Chambers' writing [draws] you into these strange creatures' hearts and minds in a way that is never less than deeply involving.
Daily Mail
So much fun to read
Heat Magazine
Becky Chambers takes space opera in a whole new and unexpected direction, her books bring me so much joy
Ben Aaronovitch, author of <i>Rivers of London</i>
Terrific. . . a masterly exploration of characterisation and diversity wrapped in intensity, heartbreak and tension
Joanne Harris, author of <i>Chocolat
The best speculative fiction currently being written . . . Becky Chambers is a wonder, and I feel better for having her books in my life
John Connolly, author of the Charlie Parker Thrillers
A joyous, optimistic space opera... Although it isn't shy about tackling Big Questions, Planet is a heart-warming debut novel that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general).
Explores the quieter side of sci-fi while still wowing us with daring leaps of imagination
Moving in what feels like small personal ways but is actually big, universal ways and it is uplifting on the same scale
Forbidden Planet
A quietly profound, humane tour de force