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Record of a Spaceborn Few
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Record of a Spaceborn Few

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Author: Becky Chambers
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, 2018
Series: Wayfarers: Book 3
Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Colonization
Generation Ship
Space Opera
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Synopsis

Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way.

But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life -- and is it worth saving at all?

A young apprentice, a lifelong spacer with young children, a planet-raised traveler, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, and an Archivist whose mission is to ensure no one's story is forgotten, wrestle with these profound universal questions. The answers may seem small on the galactic scale, but to these individuals, it could mean everything.


Excerpt

Feed source: Reskit Institute of Interstellar Migration (Public News Feed)

Item name: The Modern Exodus - Part One

Author: Ghuh'loloan Mok Chutp

Encryption: 0

Translation path: [Hanto:Kliptorigan]

System message: The feed you have selected has been translated from written Hanto. As you may be aware, written Hanto includes gestural notations that do not have analogous symbols in any other GC language. Therefore, your scrib's on-board translation software has not translated the following material directly. The content here is a modified translation, intended to be accessible to the average Kliptorigan reader.

Greetings, dear guest, and welcome! I am Ghuh'loloan Mok Chutp. I hope my skill and effort will be sufficient to make any time you spend here worthwhile. I shall exercise my skills to the best of my ability, with the aim of educating and entertaining you. If I fail in these endeavors, please accept my sincere apologies and know that such failings are mine alone and are not reflective of my place of employment, my schooling, or my family.

If you are unfamiliar with my work, allow me to provide a brief introduction. I am an ethnographic researcher based at the Reskit Institute of Interstellar Migration. I have worked in this field for twenty-two standards, and my focus is on transitory and orbital communities in the modern era. I am proud of my work thus far, with a few exceptions. I am confident that I am qualified for the task I will describe in just a moment. I hope you agree.

What do you think of, dear guest, when I mention the Exodus Fleet? You could define the term literally: the collection of ships that carried the remnants of the Human species away from their failed planet. Perhaps the Fleet sparks some deeper association in you -- a symbol of desperation, a symbol of poverty, a symbol of resilience. Do you live in a community where Humans are present? Do you know individuals born within one of these aged vessels? Or are you from a more homogeneous society, and therefore surprised to learn that the Fleet is still inhabited? Perhaps the entire concept of the Fleet baffles you. Perhaps it is mysterious, or exciting. Perhaps you yourself are Human, dear guest, and think of the Fleet as home -- or, conversely, a place as alien to you as to the rest of us.

Whatever your background, the Fleet is a source of curiosity for all who do not have some personal connection to it. Unless you have a close Human friend or are a long-haul merchant, it is unlikely you have traveled there. And while Humans living in Galactic Commons territories and planetary colonies outnumber Exodans in aggregate, the Fleet is still where you will find the largest concentration of their kind outside the Sol system. Though there are many Humans who have never set foot in the great homestead ships, the journey of the Fleet is a history they all consciously carry. That lineage has inextricably shaped every modern Human community, regardless of foundational philosophy. In one way or another, it affects how they think of themselves, and in how the rest of us see them.

So what is the Fleet today? How do these people live? How do they view the GC? Why have they continued this way of life? These are the questions I will attempt to unravel in the time ahead. I, Ghuh'loloan, will likewise be a guest. As I write this, I am on my way to the Exodus Fleet, where I will be staying for eight tendays. I will be living aboard an Exodan homestead ship, interviewing Exodan citizens, and learning Exodan ways. Much has been written about the state of the Exodan Fleet following first contact and leading up to GC membership, but little mainstream record has been made of them since. The assumption, I fear, is that their presence in multispecies communities means they have integrated into our varied societies and left their old ways behind. Nothing could be further from the truth. I cross the galaxy now in search of a more honest story.

It is my hope, dear guest, that you will join me.

Copyright © 2018 by Becky Chambers


Reviews

Record of a Spaceborn Few

- Ann Walker
  (8/3/2018)
Record of a Spaceborn Few

- illegible_scribble
  (6/13/2019)

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