(I used to add Amazon affiliate links to my book related postings, but decided this week I should stop doing so.)
Space exploration of exoplanets with life. Not with space navies and guns blazing, but crowdsourced and ethical by design. To Be Taught, If Fortunate is a fun novella. Very different from the previous work by Becky Chambers that I read, the also very enjoyable Wayfarers series (The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, Record of a Spaceborn Few)
A space opera, forming a good escape for a few hours, leaving the pandemic news behind. It ends with what could have been an escape too, was built as one by an alien race, but rather is a purposeful new start for both protagonists, a ship’s AI and its captain.
The past days were by accident probably the best setting to read this book, right in the upward swing of a pandemic. I finished it yesterday and today here in the Netherlands everything got closed down, pubs, restaurants, sports facilities and schools for at least 3 weeks. In A Song for a New Day, that ‘at least 3 weeks’ turned into always, with humanity keeping its distance from one another after a pox pandemic, and most of life moving to virtual environments so you don’t need to leave your room for work nor entertainment. Drone delivery ftw.
Live music takes center stage in this story. Concerts are not allowed, as they bring together more than a few people. But there’s an underground network of venues and artists. One on which a company feeds to find talent for virtual concerts, but at the cost of shutting down the real venues and scenes.
A call for creativity, and overcoming fear of others. In times of government calls for
social physical distancing, a reminder to let guitars rip over the speakers and be kind to your neighbours and community.
A concert by 16Down I once went to in Second Life in 2007.