Becky Chambers

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Becky Chambers
Becky Chambers.jpg
BornRebecca Marie Chambers
May 3, 1985 (1985-05-03) (age 37)
Los Angeles County
OccupationScience fiction writer
GenreSolarpunk
Notable awardsHugo Award for Best Series (Wayfarers series, 2019)
Website
www.otherscribbles.com

Becky Chambers (born 3 May 1985)[1] is an American science fiction writer. She is the author of the Hugo Award-winning Wayfarers series as well as novellas including To Be Taught, if Fortunate and the Monk & Robot series, which begins with the Hugo Award-winning A Psalm for the Wild-Built. She is known for her imaginative world-building and character-driven stories.

Early life, family and education[edit]

Chambers was born in 1985 in Southern California and grew up outside Los Angeles. Chambers' family included several people with an interest in various NASA space exploration efforts. Her parents are an astrobiology educator and a satellite engineer.[2] She became fascinated with 'space' and its exploration at an early age. During her youth, after she first encountered a person who believed that such programs were unwise and that their funding would be better applied to solving Earth's problems, she began studying in detail humans’ efforts to explore the cosmos, concluding that these efforts were commendable, although the present methods of funding could be improved. This deep analysis provided much inspiration for her writing.[3]

She moved to San Francisco to study theater arts at the University of San Francisco.[1]

Career[edit]

Chambers worked in theater management and as a freelance writer before self-publishing her first novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, in 2014, after successfully raising funds on Kickstarter. The novel received critical acclaim and a Kitschies nomination, becoming the first self-published novel to do so.[4] This prompted Hodder & Stoughton and Harper Voyager to pick up and republish the novel.[5] The novel was the first book in the Wayfarer series, which includes three sequels: A Closed and Common Orbit, in 2016; Record of a Spaceborn Few, in 2018; and The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, in 2021. The series won the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Series. She has announced that the Wayfarers series has concluded.[3]

She published a novella, To Be Taught, if Fortunate, in August 2019, with a story that was not connected to the Wayfarers books.

In July 2018 it was announced that she signed a two-book deal with Tor Books.[6] The first book, A Psalm for the Wild-Built,[7] was published in May 2021. The story introduced Dex, a travelling tea monk, and Mosscap, a sentient robot. The second book, A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, was published in July 2022 and continued the story of Dex and Mosscap.[8]

Style and themes[edit]

Her Wayfarers series novels take place in a fictional universe, governed by the Galactic Commons to which humans are relative newcomers. She has been lauded for the strong world-building in the series, including multiple unique alien races.[9] Reviewers have cited her complex and likeable characters who drive the story.[10] Her work has been alternately criticized and praised for the deliberate, character-driven pacing and lack of the propulsive plots typical of other space opera novels.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Chambers has resided in Iceland and Scotland before returning to California, where she currently resides with Berglaug Asmundardottir, her Icelandic[2] wife,[1][13] in Humboldt County.[2]

Awards[edit]

Work Award Category Year Result Notes Ref
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Kitschies Golden Tentacle (Best Debut Novel) 2014 Nominated [14]
Otherwise Award 2015 Nominated Longlist [15]
Grand prix de l'Imaginaire Foreign Novel 2016 Nominated [16]
British Fantasy Award Best Newcomer (Sydney J. Bounds Award) 2016 Nominated [17]
Women's Prize for Fiction 2016 Nominated Longlist [18]
Arthur C. Clarke Award 2016 Nominated [19]
A Closed and Common Orbit BSFA Award Best Novel 2016 Nominated [20]
Arthur C. Clarke Award 2017 Nominated [21]
Hugo Award Best Novel 2017 Nominated [22]
Record of a Spaceborn Few Kitschies Red Tentacle (Best Novel) 2018 Nominated [23]
Locus Award Best Science Fiction Novel 2019 Nominated [24]
Hugo Award Best Novel 2019 Nominated [25]
Wayfarers series Prix Julia Verlanger 2017 Won [26]
Hugo Award Best Series 2019 Won [25]
To Be Taught, if Fortunate BSFA Award Best Shorter Fiction 2019 Nominated [27]
Hugo Award Best Novella 2020 Nominated [28]
Locus Award Best Novella 2020 Nominated [29]
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within Hugo Award Best Novel 2022 Nominated [30]
Locus Award Best Science Fiction Novel 2022 Nominated [31]
A Psalm for the Wild-Built Nebula Award Best Novella 2021 Nominated [32]
Hugo Award Best Novella 2022 Won [30]
Locus Award Best Novella 2022 Nominated [31]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

Wayfarers series[edit]

Novellas[edit]

Monk & Robot series[edit]

Short stories[edit]

  • “The Tomb Ship”, Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms, 2022
  • "A Good Heretic" (a Wayfarers story), Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, 2019
  • "Last Contact", 2001: An Odyssey In Words, 2018
  • "The Deckhand, The Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts," Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies, 2017
  • "Chrysalis," Jurassic London’s Stocking Stuffer, 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Becky Chambers: To Be Spaceborn". Locus. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Kehe, Jason (16 September 2021). "Is Becky Chambers the Ultimate Hope for Science Fiction?". Backchannel, Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Episode 170: Becky Chambers Goes Wayfaring". Imaginary Worlds. 15 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  4. ^ Flood, Alison (13 February 2015). "Self-published sci-fi debut kickstarts on to Kitschies shortlist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  5. ^ Liptak, Andrew (12 September 2015). "The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet Is This Year's Most Delightful Space Opera". Io9. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  6. ^ Harris, Lee (18 July 2018). "Announcing a Pair of Solarpunk Novellas from Becky Chambers". Tor.com. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Introducing Monk & Robot, a New Series by Becky Chambers". Tor.com. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  8. ^ Publishing, Tor com. "A Prayer for the Crown-Shy". Tordotcom Publishing. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  9. ^ Clark, M. L. (5 June 2017). "A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers" (Book review). Strange Horizons. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  10. ^ Roberts, Adam (22 October 2016). "A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers review – an AI on the run". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  11. ^ Alexander, Niall (5 July 2016). "The Joy of the Journey: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers". Tor.com. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  12. ^ Martini, Adrienne (12 March 2016). "Adrienne Martini reviews Becky Chambers". Locus Online. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  13. ^ "Becky Chambers". HarperCollins. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  14. ^ "2014 Awards". The Kitschies. 29 June 2022. Archived from the original on 3 April 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  15. ^ "2015 Otherwise Award". Otherwise Award. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2017 Winners". Locus. 5 June 2017. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  17. ^ "British Fantasy Awards 2016: the nominees". The British Fantasy Society. 7 June 2016. Archived from the original on 30 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  18. ^ "2016 Baileys women's prize for fiction longlist". Women's Prize for Fiction. Archived from the original on 3 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  19. ^ Alexander, Niall (27 April 2016). "Announcing the 2016 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist". Tor.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  20. ^ "2016 BSFA Winners". Locus. 17 April 2017. Archived from the original on 13 February 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  21. ^ "2017 Shortlist Announced". The Arthur C. Clarke Award. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  22. ^ "2017 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 2 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  23. ^ "2018 Awards". The Kitschies. Archived from the original on 3 April 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  24. ^ "2019 Locus Awards Finalists". Locus. 7 May 2019. Archived from the original on 22 June 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  25. ^ a b "2019 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 17 April 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  26. ^ "PALMARÈS OFFICIEL DE LA 18E ÉDITION DES UTOPIALES" (PDF). Les Utopiales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  27. ^ "2019 BSFA Winners". Locus. 18 May 2022. Archived from the original on 13 February 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  28. ^ "2020 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 17 April 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  29. ^ "2020 Locus Awards Winners". Locus. 27 June 2020. Archived from the original on 29 March 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  30. ^ a b "Announcing the 2022 Hugo Award Winners". Tor.com. 4 September 2022. Archived from the original on 5 September 2022. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  31. ^ a b "2022 Locus Awards Winners". Locus. 25 June 2022. Archived from the original on 17 July 2022. Retrieved 11 August 2022.
  32. ^ Asher-Perrin, Emmett (21 May 2022). "Here Are the Winners of the 2021 Nebula Awards!". Tor.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2022. Retrieved 9 September 2022.