What a treat, to have had this Wayfairers series at my fingertips (thank you again, CannonBookClub)! Now, what a drag to have to wait another year for another entry! Oh well, that’s what I get for loving things.
Once again we’ve been thrown back into the same universe, but with a new (and hinted at) cast of characters: the sister of a main from the first entry, a teen desperate to escape, a person who cares for the dead, an intellectual explorer, a new kid in town, and some mischievous elder lesbians round out the main cast, but there is plenty of room for expansion.
We all know how I feel about the concept of human composting, and it was a delight to see that it is a common-place practice in the future! 2020, if nothing else, has forced me to be more comfortable with not only my own mortality but with that of the people around me (known and unknown) as well. I was studying to become a death doula when the pandemic broke, and while my formal classes have halted the practice of support and empathy has only grown. I was so happy to see a character like Eyas, who not only was a caretaker of the dead, but also knew her purpose and was comfortable and confident in the face of death and chaos. She was the person that I want to be in a future that has not happened in a community that does not exist.
The majority of Record of a Spaceborn Few takes place on a ship of Exodans; the last humans to escape from a dying Earth. They dismantled their cities and built a fleet of ships to carry future generations out through space and into the unimaginable future. The Exodans of The Fleet are champions of communal living; if there is food all will eat. If there is air all will breathe. If there is love to be had, through caretakers or through sex workers, there is love to go around. They recycle and rework everything, from technology to human remains. It’s a life built of necessity, but a life of creativity and resilience none the less.
The heart of this community exists to record and to tell the stories of those come and gone before.
Our species doesn’t operate by reality. It operates by stories. Cities are a story. Money is a story. Space was a story, once. A king tells us a story about who we are and why we’re great, and that story is enough to make us go kill people who tell a different story. Or maybe the people kill the king because they don’t like his story and have begun to tell themselves a different one.
Some folks fit right into the story, some fight to make their own paths, some are folded back in with care, and some keep record. All are important, all are valued, and all are doing their best.
a story about the dino: her name is Ashley and I used to cram cheerios into her mouth when I was young. I didn’t want her to be hungry, but I grew up vegetarian and there was NO WAY she was getting any raw meat!