A Psalm for the Wild-Built

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5 stars (61 reviews)

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

4 editions

Leppoisaa utopistista skifiä

No rating

Kirjan maailmassa ihmiset elävät vehreissä kestävän teknologian kaupungeissa ja puolet planeetasta (tai siis kuusta) on rauhoitettu ihmiskunnalta. Ihmiskunnan muinoin rakentamat ja sitten omille teilleen lähteneet robotit ovat jo melkein unohdettua historiaa. Päähenkilö, kiertävänä "teemunkkina" toimiva Dex, lähtee etsimään merkityksen tunnetta ja törmää robottiin, joka on lähtenyt tutustumaan ihmisten yhteiskuntaan.

Eli siis jonkinlaista tekno-optimistista ja utopistista skifiä on tämä lyhytromaani. Mulle melko uutta "solarpunk"-termiä on myös käytetty teosta kuvaamaan. Ihan kivasti kirjoitettu ja sympaattinen tarina elämän merkityksen etsimisestä, jotenkin liiankin kiva ja mukava. Ehkä kaipaan skifiltäni enemmän konfliktia ja säröä.

Very wholesome

5 stars

Much has been said about this short book already. As far as utopian fiction goes it's an interesting choice to have one of the main characters be unsatisfied with their life for no discernible reason. I think that's something many of us can relate to. Despite the brevity of the book Becky Chambers manages to evoke a rich, detailed world without ever being weighed down by infodumps. I liked the ending a lot.

A warm cuddle in a wicked scary world

5 stars

As other reviewers have already said: it is a truly gentle, hopeful, beautiful story about connection and self discovery and communication. It's got a post capitalist, solarpunk vibe of a world I'd love to inhabit, an appreciation for little pleasures and little deals, loveable characters, and it's also insightful and wise. Plus the main character rides a bicycle as their main form of transportation!

I now want to leave it all and become a wandering tea monk with a bike. That's how perfect this book is. Loved it.

Solarpunk tale of self-discovery and grappling with one's history

5 stars

A compelling yet soothing tale about a non-binary monk having a midlife crisis.

Topics: finding purpose in life, wilderness, the nature of consciousness, and more.

No violence, no struggle apart from that of a person against the pressures of exertion and survival outside of human civilization, and yet it is a page-turner.

It gets the "solarpunk" label because the setting is a human society which fits the bill: non-capitalist, low-impact technology. Main transport method: "ox-bikes," apparently the author's neologism to refer to electronically assisted bicycles that pull carts around. Personal computers are computers that last a person's entire life. Half of the available land is set aside for wilderness. Etc.

100% recommend. It would probably be a good introduction to science fiction for someone who's not familiar with the genre as it exists in the 21st century.

A breath of fresh air, the wild-built could be us

5 stars

Content warning Spoilers

A breath of fresh air, the wild-built could be us

5 stars

Content warning Spoilers

reviewed A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers (Monk and Robot, #1)

Cozy

5 stars

This hit my radar when I asked for some relatively cozy reading. And did this ever deliver! It's not a full novel, audiobook only about 4 hours, but it's a wonderful possible future full of people who genuinely care about the world. It's really more of a character study than a story, but still left me really eager to see what the characters get up to next.

Heart-warming utopian future

4 stars

Utopian futures are not usually my thing (dystopia any day), but this was thoughtfully crafted and heart-warmimg so I enjoyed it. The only thing that bothered me a little was the gender pronoun usage. The main character is referred to as "they" throughout, which of course is fine but a little distracting for me.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

5 stars

Content warning minor spoilers

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

5 stars

Content warning minor spoilers

Gentle, thoughtful, optimistic sci-fi

No rating

If I were able to write fiction, I think this is the kind of fiction I’d like to write. The first book in the Monk & Robot series is gentle and thoughtful, but manages to pick at some anxieties I’ve been having for a long time, about purpose and direction and satisfaction. There’s not much in the way of conflict, but plenty in the way of insight, and it’s short enough that I basically inhaled it.

Even more than the characters, I want to spend more time with the book’s religious system, which is revealed in small details but still largely mysterious by the end of the book. The best fictional religions have a way of concisely showing what’s important in a given world—which I guess real religions do, too, but those are so much more multilayered and convoluted from centuries of revision and interpretation that it takes real scholarship …

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Subjects

  • American literature
  • Robots
  • Fiction
  • Mythology
  • Self-consciousness (Awareness)
  • Gender-nonconforming people

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