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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Series!

A Publishers Weekly "Best Books of 2017" pick!

Nominated for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel!

Shortlisted for the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award!

Winner of the Prix Julia-Verlanger!

Embark on an exciting, adventurous, and dangerous journey through the galaxy with the motley crew of the spaceship Wayfarer in this fun and heartwarming space opera - the sequel to the acclaimed The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shutdown 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. 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced listeners to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for - and learned to live with, and love, her ragtag collection of crewmates. 

A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to that beloved debut novel and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect, and Star Wars.

©2016 Becky Chambers (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: Our Editors Recommend—Further Listening for Star Wars Fans


With more than 150 books in the Star Wars audioverse alone, there's certainly no shortage of adventures in our favorite galaxy far, far away. But let's say you've absorbed the very best of both Canon and Legends, watched the films and television shows time and again, and have exhaustively played through extended universe games (video and tabletop alike). If you're looking for something new, our Audicted to Sci-Fi editorial team has you covered.

What listeners say about A Closed and Common Orbit

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Finding one's own purpose

An exploration of self determination and finding purpose - wrapped in an appealing story. The two protagonists - Sidra and Jane (Pepper) both were created to serve others and must instead find their own meanings.

4 people found this helpful

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Even better than her first book!

I continue to be impressed by the author's rich universe full of depth and character. Chambers is not afraid to tackle the big questions and she does it with flair and nuance.

6 people found this helpful

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  • CB
  • 08-24-19

a delightful surprise, again

What does it mean to be human? AI? Family? this book investigates all three, with a loving, generous touch and a great story. excellent read, though a definite departure from the first book. loved it and can't wait for the next!

2 people found this helpful

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enjoyable

suprising good. keep my attention from start to finish. looking forward to book 3. well done.

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Another great story

Another great story by Becky and superbly read by Rachel. I love the writing and the way Rachel performs her books.
The twist at the end caught me by surprise. what a great surprise. Keep writing.

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good stuff

I liked this. good narrator. she doesn't do annoying voices or anything. you should listen.

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Different

This story was different than I expected from a 2nd book in a series. Rather than expanding on the existing list of main characters from the 1st, it explores the universe further through secondary characters introduced in the fisrt novel.

1 person found this helpful

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Good in Universe Sequel

This is not a direct sequel for the Wayfarer crew. It is a tangential story, but a good one. If you liked the first book you will probably enjoy this one was well. However it isn't quite as good. It felt too long at first, until the ending where it went by too quickly. I wasn't a big fan at first, mostly because I wanted a continuation but I got over it eventually and started liking the new set of characters. By the end I was STARTING to get invested in the characters, but that's the problem when you made a series of books that are all tangential to each other. Every book you reset and relearn characters when you want to know what happened to the people you just spent 12 hours with. I think it is a shame Becky Chambers took this route, but I still love the universe and her writing overall so with a few caveats you need to prepare yourself for, I still think this is worth a read/listen.

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An Irreverent but Heartfelt Story

Instead of focusing on the crew of the Wayward, A Closed and Common Orbit takes a detour to follow the exploits of several side characters from the first book in the series. Dealing with existential themes of purpose and a sense of belonging in a universe with no explanation as to why we exist, Becky Chambers further explores relatable themes of isolation through a sentient AI placed in a synthetic body trying to fit in a reality where organic life prevails.

The story starts off a little slow at first, with chapters that flashback to characters seemingly unrelated to the rest of the storyline. Making it somewhat difficult to keep track of the plot at times. But as the narrative progresses the reader should find themselves acclimatized to the complex, yet recognizable, concepts of navigating the typical expectations of social, gender, and class constructs. The best thing about this installment in the series, in my opinion, is that it can exist as a standalone from the first book. With only minuscule details of backstory related to events from its predecessor, to help fill the reader in on the main character's motivation, a newcomer can begin with this installment of the series without feeling completely lost in the narrative.

Kudos to the author for creating another instalment that is irreverent in humor, but heartfelt and hopeful at its core. I would also like to add that Rachel Dulude does a fantastic job narrating the story, her character affectations help bring the story to life.

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The Best Audiobook Performance I've Heard

The book is very very good. I really enjoyed the whole thing. While the first book has the problem of mispronouncing the word "zir", a gender neutral third person neo-pronoun, that was fixed in this. The performance in this book is literally the best I have ever heard. I've heard some good ones but not like this. Dulude made some great choices all throughout the book. While there are some spots that could have used a second pass, I take that as an acceptable loss in audiobooks (I've yet to listen to a single one that didn't have one or two spots where the reader is turning a page or getting stuck on a line) If you love stories about AI, ethics regarding them, and biological people spending time with them, OR if you enjoy stories of people struggling through horrible situations and finding their way to the other side, you should check this book out. If you like both definitely pick this series up. I think the world building in this series is phenomenal and Chambers wrote in a fair few fantastic lines and interactions. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.