Becky Chambers (author)
|Born||Rebecca Marie Chambers |
3 May 1985 (age 36)
Los Angeles County
|Occupation||Science fiction writer|
Becky Chambers (born 3 May 1985) is an American science fiction writer, and the author of the Hugo-award winning Wayfarers series as well as novellas including To Be Taught, if Fortunate and the Monk & Robot duology beginning with A Psalm for the Wild-Built. She is known for her imaginative world-building and character-driven stories.
Chambers' family included several people with an interest in various NASA space exploration efforts, and 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.
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. This prompted the novel to be picked up and republished by Hodder & Stoughton and Harper Voyager. 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 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, with the first book, A Psalm for the Wild-Built, due to be published in May 2021. She has announced that the 2021 Wayfarers book would conclude that series.
Style and themes
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. Reviewers have cited her complex and likeable characters who drive the story. 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.
- Hugo Award for Best Series, 2019 (Wayfarers series)
- Prix Julia Verlanger, 2017 (A Closed and Common Orbit)
- Locus Award for Best Novella, 2020 (To Be Taught, if Fortunate)
- British Science Fiction Award for Best Shorter Fiction, 2020 (To Be Taught, if Fortunate)
- Hugo Award for Best Novella, 2020 (To Be Taught, if Fortunate)
- Hugo Award for Best Novel, 2019 (Record of a Spaceborn Few)
- Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, 2019 (Record of a Spaceborn Few)
- Kitschies, Red Tentacle (Best Novel), 2018 (Record of a Spaceborn Few)
- Hugo Award for Best Novel, 2017 (A Closed and Common Orbit)
- Arthur C. Clarke Award, 2017 (A Closed and Common Orbit)
- British Science Fiction Award, 2017 (A Closed and Common Orbit)
- Arthur C. Clarke Award, 2016 (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet)
- Women's Prize for Fiction, Long list, 2016 (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet)
- British Fantasy Awards, Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer, 2016 (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet)
- Grand prix de l'Imaginaire for Best Foreign-Language Novel, 2016 (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet)
- Otherwise Award, Long list, 2016 (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet)
- Kitschies, Golden Tentacle (Best Debut), 2015 (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet)
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2015)
- A Closed and Common Orbit (2016)
- Record of a Spaceborn Few (2018)
- The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (2021)
- To Be Taught, if Fortunate (2019)
- A Psalm for the Wild-Built (2021)
- A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (forthcoming, 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
Chambers was born in 1985 in Southern California and grew up outside Los Angeles. She moved to San Francisco to study theater arts at the University of San Francisco. She has lived in Iceland and Scotland before returning to California, where she currently resides with her wife.
- "Becky Chambers: To Be Spaceborn". Locus Magazine. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- "Becky Chambers Goes Wayfaring". Imaginary Worlds/Episode 170. 15 April 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
- "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet". Kickstarter. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- Flood, Alison (13 February 2015). "Self-published sci-fi debut kickstarts on to Kitschies shortlist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- 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.
- "Announcing a Pair of Solarpunk Novellas from Becky Chambers". Tor. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Introducing Monk & Robot, a New Series by Becky Chambers". Tor. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- June 2017, M. L. Clark Issue: 5 (9 June 2017). "A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers". Strange Horizons. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- 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.
- 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.
- admin (12 March 2016). "Adrienne Martini reviews Becky Chambers". Locus Online. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- "Becky Chambers". HarperCollins. Retrieved 30 May 2018.