Record of a Spaceborn Few

Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
Series: Wayfarers, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (918 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Series!

Brimming with Chambers' signature blend of heart-warming character relationships and dazzling adventure, Record of a Spaceborn Few is the third standalone installment of the Wayfarers series, set in the sprawling universe of the Galactic Commons, and following a new motley crew on a journey to another corner corner of the cosmos - one often mentioned, but not yet explored.

Return to the sprawling universe of the Galactic Commons as humans, artificial intelligence, aliens, and some beings yet undiscovered explore what it means to be a community in this exciting third adventure in the acclaimed and multi-award-nominated science-fiction Wayfarers series, brimming with heartwarming characters and dazzling space adventure.

Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way.

But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life - and is it worth saving at all?

A young apprentice, a lifelong spacer with young children, a planet-raised traveler, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, and an archivist whose mission is to ensure no one’s story is forgotten, wrestle with these profound universal questions. The answers may seem small on the galactic scale, but to these individuals, it could mean everything.

©2018 Becky Chambers (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Record of a Spaceborn Few

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Title Says It All

As with The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet the title tells you exactly what the story is about. It isn't some big space adventure but the story of a few spaceborn peoples lives at a certain point in time. As always Becky Chambers delivers a character driven and enjoyable to read novel. I think it could have benefited from a bigger plot as it was interesting to hear the perspectives it all felt a little directionless and left me wanting something or someone to hope for/root for. as with many people I am wondering why we were made to fall in love the crew of the Wayfairer and then given 2 sequels in which they do not appear. You struck gold with those characters use them! Give the people what they want! For the record Pepper, Blue and OWL are awesome too. Anyway great job on this one. I just had my hopes set on seeing the loveable characters of the first 2 books again.

12 people found this helpful

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A seriously wasted opportunity.

I think Becky Chambers is an extremely talented writer, and I loved her first book so much I couldn't wait for the second. Unfortunately, I also think she took an opportunity to write a great series and wasted it in an attempt to show how clever she is. As good as that first book was, the second book was just not as interesting to read. While the beginning was engaging and dramatic, the second half devolved into an exercise in patience as readers were treated to the mundane antics of characters that felt flat, passionless, and underdeveloped. In short, it was a bore, like witnessing the inner thoughts of an appliance. Yeah, it can mimic thought, but are it's thoughts worth knowing? This third effort -- well let's just say this one felt weirdly experimental as it jumped from one plot thread to another -- had no real hook to keep a reader engaged. Just when the action would get going, the reader experienced whiplash as they were suddenly jerked into another POV fragment. And while the scraps of writing were lovely, the author was so busy creating her scattershot plot structure, that she completely failed to entertain her readers. The entire effort felt like a gimmick gone wrong. I quickly found myself drifting off to better books, with better plots, and more fleshed out characters, and I never looked back. End result? I'm done with this series. If only Chambers had trusted the storyline of the first book -- the one that I, and a lot of other readers enjoyed so much -- this could have been a series to savor. Instead she wanted to impress us. (Perhaps she let the success of that first book go to her head?) What a bummer. NOT RECOMMENDED: To anyone who love the first book in the series. Note: Rachel Dulude did a fine job with narration, given what she had to work with.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent Science Fiction

Her first two made me happy. I enjoyed them a lot. This one, however, is kind of brilliant. Becky Chambers is a very wise and insightful person, and I am definitely buying a copy of this one for my oldest avid reader. Heinlein had a huge influence on the formation of my personality, at that age, and I am hoping that Chambers will have a huge influence on hers. This is an excellent example of what I love most about science fiction. It is an opportunity to examine aspects of ourselves and our civilizations in abstract, and somewhat objectively, inasmuch as that is ever possible. How might culture be influenced by changes in our understanding of the physical universe? This is especially valuable as our civilization is in sharp decline, the result of four decades war against public education puts us on the brink of wiping out this institution and letting the new "robber barons" reign supreme again. This story is uplifting and enlightening, and I highly recommend it. It is what we can be, if people choose to be informed and stop behaving in a purely selfish manner. Stop loosing at the "prisoner's dilemma" and read this book. ;-)

7 people found this helpful

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Aimless, Plotless, No Conflict, Boring

The book depicts this sickly sweet (but not in a creepy way) utopia where everyone is considerate of each other all the time, because the construction of their ship means they won't ever fight for resources. There is also a religion centering around recycling. I usually prefer more optimistic stories, but this one just had me rolling my eyes. Life will never be perfect. That would be boring. This book made me not want to live in utopia. It was that bad. The book jumps around between many different characters, giving us vignettes from their everyday life and little else. The narrative seems to revolve around an old ship that humans live on. At points, it devolves into literal lectures about the ship and its culture. I usually appreciate that kind of thing, but there is so little going on in this book and the Exodans are so boring that it was impossible to stay engaged. Species from previous books are mentioned, but they seem mostly irrelevant.

6 people found this helpful

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Normal people doing normal things - IN SPACE!

I really liked the first in the series, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. And I thought the next book A Closed and Common Orbit was ok. But this one is just bad. There is nothing going on and nothing happens. Just constant reminders that humans are considered the loser hillbillies of the universe. The first two books are about the people going on adventures, finding new connections in the loneliness of space, facing the dangers of the unknown and misunderstood, and testing the limits of alien and future technologies. This last book is about the people that are boring, having boring conversations, have boring jobs, and like to think and talk about their boring lives and if maybe they should be doing something else just as boring. In the biggest and most advanced spaceships mankind ever constructed that have traveled across the galaxy and encountered a collection of alien species, these are the things the characters are concerned about: - washing the dishes - eating pickle sandwiches - trying to get kids to go to bed - hanging out at super polite sex clubs - convincing grandpa to get eye surgery - worrying about getting into college - finding a replacement librarian

8 people found this helpful

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Melodrama among the exodus

Becky Chambers' Record of a Spaceborn Few is her 3rd installment (and perhaps the final) in her wayfarers series. This story picks up immediately after the 1st book with no connection to book 2. Various human characters and their lives are portrayed that provide a flavor of the descendants of the exodus fleet that left Earth centuries earlier, along with some background on their current lives and how generations in space have changed them. There's good and bad people, but everyone is mostly surviving. There's little of alien races, save for one species that has a quite different social and child rearing conventions. Much time is spent describing adaptations humanity has made and endured through generations living in space. Through an archivist, we learn much of the history, while a young man who doesn't fit in finds no peace and teenagers will always be teenagers. The narration is well done with decent character distinction and good pacing.

1 person found this helpful

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Very pleasant story about death and life.

Becky Chambers returns to fill her literal world a bit more. Focused on the exodent fleet. Several random individuals going about their lives and seeking meaning. The death of one brings many of their stories into contact and for 2 it is a catalyst for meaning. As with the other books in this series, it’s a slow pleasant story focusing on normal people going about their days. This one more so, as most are not out of their elements. Very fulfilling story in the genre of Traffic.

1 person found this helpful

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Light on plot, but still enjoyable

As others have said, Record of a Spaceborn Few is light on plot, perhaps that could even be said of the first two novels in the series, but as with Long Way... and A Closed and Common Orbit, this is still an enjoyable read. With this installment in the series, you get what you expect - a novel that focusing mainly on character development. I'm not sure I've come across another author that really makes me care about the characters in 10 hours the way that Becky Chambers does. Also, as with books 1 & 2, Rachel Dulude knocks it out of the park. In my opinion, this book doesn't do much to move the Wayfarer universe along, but it does aid in world building, while giving you the history and life of Exodans and the Exodan fleet. If you enjoyed the first two books in the series, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. If you didn't, well then why do you want to read book 3?

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Character driven and well written

Loved it! But I really want to see more of the Wayfarer and it's crew please!!!!

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Exactly what I needed right now

This one took me a bit longer to warm up to than the first two, but I eventually found it cozy, like a home and universe in which I so comfortably fit. I love the optimistic outlook of these books along with a natural embrace of values I imagine many people living today probably find unusual or even extreme. Communication and listening are wielded so powerfully by dynamic characters that also have less rational aspects. These are heroes I want right now.