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Publisher's Summary

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 to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She's never felt so alone. But she's not alone, not really.

Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.

Together Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it's anything but empty. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced listeners to the incredible imagination of Becky Chambers and has been nominated for any number of awards and accolades, including the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction, the Tiptree Award, the Kitschies Golden Tentacle and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.

©2016 Becky Chambers (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mim
  • HUGHENDEN, Australia
  • 09-11-17

Galactic Commons, interesting place

Enjoyed this story even more than the first one. I enjoyed the alternating P.O.V. along with the depth of description and world building. The interactions are well described and the planets and space-ship life are fascinating, even after all the years I have been reading this genre.

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  • Dario Persechino
  • 12-24-16

Wonderful story wonderfully read!

A great follow on from Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. Not featuring the crew of the Wayfairer this time but related characters in the same universe, and what characters!
Chambers has a way of not only crafting s great and very tangible universe but also making rich characters that grow throughout the books.

The audiobook is magnificently performed by Rodriguez. She gives each character their distinct voices using subtle inflections that just make the character so unique and real to the listener.

I absolutely loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Cornah
  • 11-16-16

A Closed and Common Review

What made the experience of listening to A Closed and Common Orbit the most enjoyable?

The themes, characters, and narrative style were all wonderfully drawn together. Becky Chambers continues to create the kind of science fiction I wish I was reading all the time. The tone, depth, and complexities of the worlds and societies she has built, coupled with a crisp, clear breath of optimism and hope make this a perfect read for these dark days.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Sidra.
What I particularly enjoyed was the fact that she discovers her personhood through platonic relationships, through found family, and friendships. So often, in stories of robots or AIs where they are perceived as female it ends with them engaging in a sexual relationship with a - usually male - human. That was not the case here. Sidra develops close familial and platonic bonds with humans and aliens and through their shared experiences and love for one another, she grows. She gets to know her own personhood through her love and friendship, and it is not tied to sex, and perhaps it's my ace side making me biased, but I really thought that was a stroke of genius.

What about Patricia Rodriguez’s performance did you like?

It was a stellar performance (pun intended), though the moments where an online style text conversation is described tended to be a little tedious as the narrator had to read out every single identifying line, every single timestamp, and so on. Other than that, it was great.

Any additional comments?

Ideas like personhood are nothing new to the science fiction genre, and having an AI be the catalyst for such discussions and explorations are fairly common. But where Chambers takes a relatively lesser trod path is that much of the perspective on this is from that very AI, and how she navigates questions like 'am I a person?' Which feels very different to people asking 'is that a person?' in the more abstract. To make this a very personal journey, to put our eyes in that of a computer, does make the reader much more likely to empathise and to connect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daneel
  • 07-17-18

Enjoyable story, but needs an editor

I enjoyed the first in the series and expected it to be the same for this one. While that has proved true for the plot and the narration, there's one extremely irritating factor, the use of "real" every twenty words or so in the flashback sessions. Perhaps this is less of an issue when read, but hearing the same word over and over distracts from the story. I'm four hours in, hopefully this aspect improves.

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  • Martyn. R. Winters
  • 07-03-18

Something different

I don't normally like twin timeline, circular stories, but this one is done so well I couldn't help but like it. It's the story of the clone Pepper/Jane and a couple of AIs who form a deep friendship in a universe populated with many friendly species. One of them is lost and the others set out to find her.

Breathtaking in its brilliance and simplicity, with a satisfyingly warm ending.

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  • Toni
  • 06-29-18

Loved it!

My first reaction in beginning to listen to this was I would have liked there to be more characters common with first book but as I got further into the book I began to fall in love with the new characters, I grew to love them all but I especially loved Tak.

Another great character driven story from Becky where I cared about every one of the characters that the book focused on and that's rare for a book to do. The narration was once again great. I can't wait to read/listen the next one when it comes out and probably anything else Becky writes after that.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cara R.
  • 06-27-18

I'm emmersed

I love this exploration of what it means to be human. The story takes you a long and the characters are believable.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-18

Even better than the first one.

The story was very different but still had very interesting themes and likeable characters. The parallel between Pepper's story and Sidra was really interesting. I really enjoyed this book and the reading by the narrator was still amazing. If it had a genre of its own, I would call it "chill sci-fi".

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lis
  • 06-22-18

Brilliant story

I have to admit I was hesitant to read this as I adored A long way to a small angry planet but I am pleased to say I loved this one just as much. The performance was brilliant and I thought the narrator nailed the characters.

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  • Rory Scarlett
  • 04-09-18

Lacked real depth.

I really liked the first book. it had a family feel. The crew of the Wayfarer were varied and interesting and I cared about what happened to them. however this book lacked all that made the first book unique. I did enjoy Jane's story but up to a point but knowing Jane was Pepper took any suspense out of the story.

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  • Arvid
  • 02-15-18

Absolutely fantastic

I loved this book from beginning to end. The story explores the topic of finding out who you are and how you fit into the world, and does so through two very gripping storylines and some fascinating concepts such as artificial intelligence. I both laughed and cried, listening to this book. The narration is very good.

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  • Honor McGregor
  • 08-19-17

just loved this story

just loved everything about this story, such a joy in so many ways. highly recommended.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-23-16

Hope there's more to come!

Thoroughly enjoyed both books in this series so far.
There are some interesting issues tackled but not to the detriment of the narrative or the development of characters you can care about.

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  • Natasha
  • 05-24-17

There's nothing common about this book

There were less character is A Closed Orbit than Wayfarer 1, which was nice, you got to know each character individually rather than rushing between multiple story arcs. Like Wayfarer 1 Chambers uses a story style that strings together vignettes of her characters lives rather than a single, unbroken plot. Personally I like the style, it's a relaxing wonder through another universe, but I can see that those looking for an action driven plot would find it frustrating.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful