Becky Chambers is keenly aware of her past shortcomings and challenges herself to become a better and better writer with every new piece. It’s exciting to see her grow as an author and not get caught up in her own amazing success.
The Hugo-award winning author is growing more assured with every outing, and her themes and plots are becoming more mature and sophisticated, and ulitimately, I think and hope, more rewarding.
I was not a huge fan of her blockbuster explosion on the sci-fi scene, with The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, the beginning of her much-loved Wayfarer series. I was disappointed in the corny space opera themes, the overly quirky characters, and the Star Trek aliens type exposition. But then she took some bold choices with her sequels, abandoning popular characters and changing focus bravely to other perspectives. In her writings and prefaces, I recall her self-deprecating acknowledgement of her weaknesses as a young, part-time writer, and the expressed desire to diverge from tired themes and past success.
Then I read To Be Taught If Fortunate and was impressed by the maturity and the hard sci-fi commitment in this novella. This despite the unfortunate, difficult to remember title.
And now I’ve ready just 3 or 4 pages of one of her latest series, A Psalm for The Wild Built and I’m instantly enthused. Like really enthused. The Monk and Robot themes hold a lot of promise. Let’s see how this goes. I’m rooting for her.