A Psalm for the Wild-Built

, #1

Hardcover, 160 pages

Published July 13, 2021 by Tordotcom.

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5 stars (16 reviews)

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's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

4 editions

Leppoisaa utopistista skifiä

No rating

Kirjan maailmassa ihmiset elävät vehreissä kestävän teknologian kaupungeissa ja puolet planeetasta (tai siis kuusta) on rauhoitettu ihmiskunnalta. Ihmiskunnan muinoin rakentamat ja sitten omille teilleen lähteneet robotit ovat jo melkein unohdettua historiaa. Päähenkilö, kiertävänä "teemunkkina" toimiva Dex, lähtee etsimään merkityksen tunnetta ja törmää robottiin, joka on lähtenyt tutustumaan ihmisten yhteiskuntaan.

Eli siis jonkinlaista tekno-optimistista ja utopistista skifiä on tämä lyhytromaani. Mulle melko uutta "solarpunk"-termiä on myös käytetty teosta kuvaamaan. Ihan kivasti kirjoitettu ja sympaattinen tarina elämän merkityksen etsimisestä, jotenkin liiankin kiva ja mukava. Ehkä kaipaan skifiltäni enemmän konfliktia ja säröä.

Solarpunk tale of self-discovery and grappling with one's history

5 stars

A compelling yet soothing tale about a non-binary monk having a midlife crisis.

Topics: finding purpose in life, wilderness, the nature of consciousness, and more.

No violence, no struggle apart from that of a person against the pressures of exertion and survival outside of human civilization, and yet it is a page-turner.

It gets the "solarpunk" label because the setting is a human society which fits the bill: non-capitalist, low-impact technology. Main transport method: "ox-bikes," apparently the author's neologism to refer to electronically assisted bicycles that pull carts around. Personal computers are computers that last a person's entire life. Half of the available land is set aside for wilderness. Etc.

100% recommend. It would probably be a good introduction to science fiction for someone who's not familiar with the genre as it exists in the 21st century.

A breath of fresh air, the wild-built could be us

5 stars

Content warning Spoilers

Heart-warming utopian future

4 stars

Utopian futures are not usually my thing (dystopia any day), but this was thoughtfully crafted and heart-warmimg so I enjoyed it. The only thing that bothered me a little was the gender pronoun usage. The main character is referred to as "they" throughout, which of course is fine but a little distracting for me.

Review of 'A Psalm for the Wild-Built' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I wanted to read this because I had heard about this genre of “hope punk” or “cozy punk,” and I was curious. As I expected, there was no real conflict, or any jeopardy or much in the way of stakes. But this is what the genre is about, giving a break from the catastrophe that is our current world, so on that count, I would give it a high score, but I prefer novels with more at stake and more conflict. But I can see how many who are very stressed in everyday life and stressed about the planet and technology might take comfort in this sort of a book (not that I’m not stressed about these things, but I guess I’m used to higher level of stress). I don’t expect to continue with the series, but who knows?

is it possible to be nostalgic for another world?

5 stars

sweet, beautiful, simple and short. this story came to me on the heels of a hard year, which itself was following a couple more hard years. sibling dex and mosscap were precisely the guides i needed to recenter at the end of this year and think about how to bring a little bit of tea monk energy into the next chapters of my life. i'll be rereading this one.

reviewed A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers (Monk and Robot, #1)

Feels like a warm embrace

5 stars

This novella felt like a warm embrace. It's cozy, cute and light. A traveling tea monk exploring the world coming in contact with a conscious robot. Robots were long forgotten by humanity, having fled to the wilderness to live their own lives. I loved the discussions about life purpose and consciousness. It made me want to continue reading the next one.

A hopeful vision of the future

5 stars

It's easy to find dystopian science fiction. It's harder to find science fiction that provides a positive image of the future. It's not a blueprint, but you get the sense of a robust society that has overcome its most self-destructive tendencies. Very on-brand (in a good way!) for the author; if you've enjoyed her other books you will enjoy this one as well.

solarpunk road trip?

5 stars

Becky Chamber's works are rare among science fiction stories because instead of action-adventure plots they're about people talking about what it means to be alive.

The first couple of chapters felt like the plot was jumping around a hell of a lot, because they're really just backstory/preamble for the actual story

It's good that there will be a sequel because I do want to know what both Mosscap and Dex will do next

avatar for ben.kc@bookwyrm.social

rated it

5 stars