A Closed and Common Orbit

A Closed and Common Orbit

Book - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
A spaceship’s artificial intelligence, Lovelace, wakes up in a new body with no memory of her prior existence and must learn to negotiate the universe. By the author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Original. 25,000 first printing.


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 heart-warming 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 shut-down 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 readers 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 rag-tag 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.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First US edition
ISBN: 9780062569400
Characteristics: 367 pages ; 21 cm


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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Oct 16, 2018

Even better than the first in this series (The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet), this companion volume juxtaposes two stories of friendships between AI and Human characters in a really smart way!

Aug 30, 2018

Stories happened in the same universe as "the long way to a small angry planet". It follows another two characters, Pepper and Sidra (formerly Lovelace), life stories. This book can be a bit slow at the beginning, especially the part with Sidra.
Again, the story is packed with humanity, sad, and funny episodes.
I like the writing style of the author a lot. Easy to read and follow.

Mar 13, 2018

I wasn’t really into this novel until I read past the first few chapters, then I couldn’t put it down. I bet the problem for some readers is that they’re expecting a sequel to her earlier novel that just picks up where the last one left off. This doesn’t do that. It focuses on a subset of the characters from the previous work, but I think it does that well — after it gets going. The parallel story lines worked too, though I found myself much more interested in Jane.

Oct 06, 2017

Boring and pointless sequel. Almost didn't get past the first 80 pages. I won't be looking for her next book.

Aug 15, 2017

Becky Chambers' second book in this series is a gem. I found A Closed and Common Orbit more than compelling and I prefer it to book one, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet—though both are wonderful. Characters from book one come alive, interlock and resonate in phenomenal and unexpected ways, revealing each other across time. This is deft writing. Chambers has written a engaging and entertaining "sequel", but it can entirely stand all on its own if need be.

Jun 15, 2017

While I liked her first book this one was pretty flat. The book alternates between two time periods and two perspectives, unfortunately one of these stories is brilliant and the other is as bland as a bowl of cornflakes and rice milk.

I could have happily read a full-length novel dealing with nothing but Jane's story. Sidra's story was so unbearable that I was tempted to skip the chapters when they came up. It improved a little towards the end of the book but by that point it had already become such a chore that the resolution of the plot lines was more of a relief than anything else.

May 06, 2017

Another marvelous book by the author. We follow two characters from the first book. Pepper, formerly Jane 23, and the AI Sidra in a human kit body (illegal), formerly the ship AI Lovelace. Jane 23 is a slave clone sorting scrap in a factory and has no idea she is on a planet or there is any place outside the factory. We follow her from when she escapes the factory at age 10 to when she finally escapes the scrap yard at age 19 with Laurian, who becomes her partner Blue. The chapters alternate between the development of Sidra in the present and Pepper in the past. We also follow the interaction of Jane 23 and the ship AI Owl, on a scrap shuttle in the scrap yard. Owl teaches Jane about the universe and works at keeping her alive until they can all escape. The development of all the sapient characters, including the AIs, is really well done.

KateHillier Apr 03, 2017

I have to admit I was initially a little bit bummed to not be following the Wayfarer crew in this stand alone sequel but I loved this just as much as its predecessor. It was fantastic and heartwarming and hopeful and all the great things that are becoming what I see as standard for this universe.

Lovelace, the Wayfarer's AI, is offered a chance to leave the Wayfarer after the events of the previous book. She takes it, hops into a body kit, and follows energetic engineer to Pepper to her home and workplace. Pepper is eager to show Lovelace all that the world has to offer her but Lovelace is understandably uncomfortable and gun shy. It's a fantastic journey that the two of them embark on - and it mirrors the secondary story where we flash back to Pepper's past as a a girl named Jane and the track of her life is changed forever when she meets an AI named Owl.

Again the diversity, humanity, and wide breath of this universe astounds me. There are fewer people here to follow but the intimacy of the journeys here is all the better for that. Family is chosen here and stood by no matter what. I could gush about this forever but suffice to say if you loved the first book you'll love this one and if you've never heard of this series, you are in for a treat!

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