The Galaxy, and the Ground Within

400 pages

English language

Published April 1, 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton.

ISBN:
978-1-4736-4767-1
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4 stars (77 reviews)

With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.

At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.

When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to …

4 editions

Review of 'Galaxy, and the Ground Within' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

If aLWtaSAP was a road trip book, this one is a truck stop book. A varied collection of individuals all representing different species with different senses, modes of communication, and even environmental needs, are stuck together for 5 days none of them will forget. They spend time together and share their different ways of experiencing the universe. It’s a quiet bookend to the Wayfarer series but very much what you’d expect after reading the other books.

Review of 'Galaxy, and the Ground Within' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The stories I care about most are the ones about people from disparate backgrounds forming some kind of community--imperfect though it may be--so obviously this was My Thing. Chambers writes with such affection about her characters while not ignoring their pain and the ways they'll never agree, and I appreciate that. Her view of people (human or otherwise) is that they're primarily good, but that goodness also takes a lot of work. I do feel that sometimes her dialogue is a bit didactic--although this has lessened as the series goes on with each book being stronger than the last--but that's perhaps just a particular quirk of mine. There's still something that keeps me from naming any of her books as all time favorites, and I can't put my finger on what it is, but I always enjoy them and find them rewarding.

In this one, I especially liked the idea …

Review of 'Galaxy, and the Ground Within' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

As usual, Becky Chambers nailed another installation of the Wayfarers series. In this book, we take a deep exploration into the ways strangers can relate to one another, come together in a time of distress, and respect one another despite unbridgeable gaps. Our cast of characters were all wonderfully written, complex, intriguing, and realistic (which is saying a lot considering none of the featured characters are human).

The premise of this story was succinct: on a stopover planet, only known for hosting travelers for long layovers, a cataclysmic event prevents further travel. The current characters who planned to stay with their temporary host for a few hours are now stranded for an undetermined amount of time. They pass their time supporting each other, but also taking the time to learn about each other, open up, and support one another as their relationships between each of them morph.

The pacing was …

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