The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The basics

Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet


Series: Wayfarers #1

- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2014)
- A Closed and Common Orbit (2016)
- Record of a Spaceborn Few (2018)
- The Galaxy and the Ground Within (2021)

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Goodreads Summary:

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

What happened in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet?

  • Rosemary Harper is joining the crew of the Wayfarer as a clerk. Captain Ashby hired her because it was said that he’d be taken more seriously if he had a registered clerk on board.
  • Rosemary arrives, and is given the tour by Corbin, and then later Sissix. She’s introduced to all the crew, who are lovely and precious. Corbin is annoyed about Rosemary because she has no experience, but he’s grumpy anyway. Rosemary is immediately impressed by Sissix.
  • It’s time for the first punch, and it’s very confusing and timey-wimey and Rosemary throws up afterwards.
  • Ashby receives word of a new job for the tunnelling crew. He writes a letter of intent to the GC Transportation Board, as he wants the job. This job entails constructing a tunnel into Toremi Ka space, and it’ll take over a standard year. He okays this with the crew, as they won’t have any holiday between now and then. The GC will be paying for all their expenses, so the crew is quite keen.
  • The crew heads to Port Corial to get supplies. Jenks speaks to Pepper, because he wants a body suit for Lovey. Pepper warns him that this is a bad idea, but she agrees to do it for a friend.
  • Ashby meets with Pei in a hotel room, and they talk about how Pei’s job is dangerous and Ashby gets upset about it.
  • Ohan thinks about the Pair situation, and about how they’re dying. They’re experiencing the Wane, and it’s likely they’ll be dead in a year.
  • A group of Akarak pirates board the ship. Rosemary is able to speak to them, but Ashby gets knocked out as he accidentally insults them. They try to take Ohan but Dr Chef tells them Ohan is dying and will be of no use. The Akaraks leave with supplies and algae.
  • The crew lands on Cricket, where Kizzy’s friends are living. It’s a planet full of creepy bug creatures that swarm on occasion. The crew gets stuck there during one such swarm. Rosemary sees her father on TV, as he has been arrested and convicted for selling biological weapons to both sides of a war. Rosemary gets upset and tells everyone who she really is.
  • Everyone is cool with it because, ya know, it’s her father who was doing this and not her.
  • Dr Chef tells Rosemary about the civil war on his homeland, where he was an army doctor. Both sides started to use bio weapons, and when Dr Chef’s last daughter was killed, he decided to quit. His people eventually stopped fighting, and pretty much all agreed that it might be best if the species went extinct.
  • Ashby receives a letter in the mail from Pei. Jenks receives info from Pepper about someone who’s selling a body suit.
  • Pei asks if her people can land on the Wayfarer for a bit as they’ve had losses and the ship has taken a hit. Ashby and Pei have to pretend to just be friends. Kizzy goes to fix the ship and finds a bunch of mines. She’s able to disarm one and warn the crew, and then she and Pei set about disarming the others. They chat about fear while Kizzy works.
  • Sissix heads home as it’s kind of on the way. She has a great time with her family. She and Rosemary get together afterwards.
  • Some Quelins demand to search the ship and they take Corbin. Turns out he’s a clone of his dad, and Quelins don’t like clones at all. Sissix agrees to help him by becoming his sponsor, and she goes to get him from jail.
  • Ashby and Kizzy speak to some other Sianats who are no longer Paired. They show them that without the virus, Sianats can live for over 120 standards. Kizzy wants to free Ohan from the virus but Ashby insists it’s his choice.

How did The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet end?

  • The team arrive at Hedra Ka. It’s going okay, until Rosemary airs her concerns about the species, and then the Wayfarer is attacked when they’re about to start tunnelling. The GC requests an incident report.
  • Lovey was unfortunately killed in the blast and Kizzy and Jenks have to give her a hard reset. Lovey is gone, and replaced by Lovelace.
  • Ashby has to go to a meeting with the GC council to tell them what happened. He says he doesn’t understand why they want to ally with a species that loses their temper and starts shooting so easily. The council seem to listen because they announce later than the alliance is cancelled, or at least on hold.
  • Corbin injects Ohan with the anti-viral stuff. Ashby is very angry with him but Corbin still thinks this was the right thing to do. Ohan starts to spend more time with Corbin and slowly starts to heal. He joins the crew for dinner.
  • Pepper asks Lovelace if she wants to use the body suit, both for her own benefit and also so Jenks isn’t so sad. Lovelace agrees and the Wayfarer gets a new AI.
  • Rosemary and Sissix go on a space walk together.

That’s what happened in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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