A Closed and Common Orbit

A Closed and Common Orbit

Book - 2017
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Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who's determined to help her learn and grow. Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.
Publisher: New York : HARPER Voyager, 2017
ISBN: 9780062569400
Branch Call Number: SF CHAMBERS 2017
Characteristics: 367 pages ; 21 cm


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Hillsboro_JeanineM Jul 12, 2019

A continuation of the Space Opera with Pepper's backstory and Lovelace's evolution. I loved the characters and parallel personal development of Jane 23 and Sidra as well as Tak's gender fluidity. A great read and continued story of this well developed universe. I can't wait to start the next book.

JCLStefanieE Apr 29, 2019

A brilliant and unconventional sequel to A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet follows the coming-of-age stories of Pepper, a lovable junk tech, and Sidra, a newly housed A.I. unit. within a robotic human body. There's a lot of futuristic deep thought within these pages combined with some great action and a very satisfying conclusion. I'm excited to read the third installment.

Apr 28, 2019

Very interesting story of a sort of love affair between AI and genetic creations. Only downer is a bit too much description of computer coding and too little believable science. A love story in a fight for survival.

Apr 11, 2019

I am completely in love with the characters and worlds that Becky Chambers creates. Though I was initially disappointed to learn that the second book (and the third, for that matter) was not a sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, continuing the stories of the Wayfarer Crew, I loved Sidra and Pepper (and Owl's!) stories in the second book, and all the characters in the third one. I'm still holding out hope for another book set on the Wayfarer, but in the meantime, I'm ready to devour whatever Becky Chambers comes out with. HIGHLY recommended.

Apr 10, 2019

Don't give up on this. Panted an amazing SF future gone sideways. Good Read. -

LeRat Feb 07, 2019

This one took a bit longer to get in to then the 1st in the series and part of that is probably the unexpectedness of how stand alone this book is from the start of the series. But in the end this is a fantastic, character-driven story that explores concepts of identity in way that never interferes with the story itself. Expect your heartstrings to get tugged.

Jan 20, 2019

I LOVED The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. I ate that book up. So when my library alerted me that the sequel was available, I didn't waste time snagging it.

The thing is, the sequel is a stand-alone follow up that follows Pepper and Lovelace, not the crew of the Wayfarer. And although Pepper's backstory is kind of heartbreaking, and this book had some bittersweet things to say about finding your place in life, I was a tad bit disappointed that I wasn't following the further adventures of the Wayfarer crew.

So now that my initial disappointment with the book is out of the way: it was good. Solid science fiction. You don't have to read the first book (but why wouldn't you?), and it's a very human-centric, character-driven narrative. We get Pepper then and now, and Lovelace as she figures out how to be real. There's Becky Chambers' adept use of perspective (I have never considered AI civil rights so much as I did while reading this book) and statements about how we humans treat each other when we think no one is holding us accountable.

I enjoyed the story, and I enjoyed the characters. I'm a bit nervous that the ending wrapped up so nicely. Is there gonna be a Wayfarers #3? All in all, it was a quick and interesting read that wraps up a loose end from the first novel. I recommend it to fans of the first Wayfarers novel, and fans of science fiction in general.

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 30, 2018

A second excellent SF novel by Becky Chambers. This is an independent sequel to *The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet*. At the end of the previous book, the ship’s artificial intelligence (“AI”) had been destroyed while saving the ship. An attempted reboot did not bring back the AI’s memories and personality. Pepper, a technician who had been brought in to help the ship, downloaded the rebooted AI into an illegal humanoid body kit and took “her” (programmed female personality) back to the planet where Pepper had her repair shop.

The basic plot splits into two parts. The AI, now named Sidra, needs to learn how to be undetectably *human*. But it is a case of the blind leading the blind. Pepper herself has always had trouble learning how to be human, because she was raised by AIs. The novel alternates chapters between Sidra and Pepper trying to work out how to be human adults and chapters where young “Jane 23” (Pepper’s childhood name) figures out how to survive on a planet where she is a factory slave.

Neither of these novels is like anyone else’s work. The author is very thoughtful and really plans the details in a believable manner. It was hard to put down.

Nov 14, 2018

One of the striking things about the Wayfarer books is how Chambers really succeeds in creating emotional investment in AIs as characters. I was devastated by Lovey’s fate in The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and this in turn gave me complicated feels about Sidra going into book two. However, in this volume, I become most invested in Owl, the AI who raises Jane, slowly teaching her everything the Mothers deliberately keep from their charges, and helping her develop the skills she will need to repair the ship and escape the planet. After what happened to Lovey in the first book, I desperately needed for Owl to be okay. In as much as I enjoy a good, dark, gritty science fiction, fantasy, or dystopia, this series has really reminded me how much I also enjoy hopeful speculative fiction, which doesn’t deny the darkness in the universe, but dares to imagine a bright future anyway.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/11/13/a-closed-and-common-orbit/

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Oct 16, 2018

Even better than the first in this series (The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet), this companion volume juxtaposes two stories of friendships between AI and Human characters in a really smart way!

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Nov 14, 2018

As Jane headed back home, she decided something, and she knew it better than she’d ever known anything. She would die someday—no getting around that. But nobody would find her bones in the scrapyard. She wasn’t going to leave them there.


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