To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

In her new novella, Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves. Ariadne is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a u...

Details To Be Taught, If Fortunate

TitleTo Be Taught, If Fortunate
Release DateSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherHarper Voyager
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Novella, Adult

Reviews To Be Taught, If Fortunate

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    WOW, this reminded me so much of why I love sci-fi and why I need to make it a priority to read more of it. Becky Chambers has such a knack for writing heartbreakingly human, character driven stories. I loved this a whole heck of a lot.
  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    Becky Chambers is a freaking genius. If you have any interest in speculative fiction about where we as a species could be headed then you really need to pick up any of her books. 'To Be Taught If Fortunate' is a short novella about longterm space mission to study four planets light years away from Earth. There are four members of the crew of the OCA spacecraft Merian; Ariadne O'Neill, Elena Quesada-Cruz, Jack Vo and Chikondi Daka. But instead of ...
  • Natasha Ngan
    THE MARTIAN meets INTERSTELLAR, this is high-concept speculative fic at its finest. Rendered with startling clarity, Chambers' latest offering is a short but fierce ode to humanity and all our reaches and flaws. Unputdownable.
  • Matthew Quann
    Guys, if you haven't read any of Becky Chambers' uplifting solar punk (see her Hugo-award wining Wayfarers trilogy), then To Be Taught, If Fortunate is the perfect place to start. Stuffed into less than 200 pages is a compelling, intelligent, and deeply humanistic science-fiction yarn that is representative of what Chambers does best. The story is told as a letter being sent back to Earth from Adriane, pilot of a OCA spaceship meant to categori...
  • Oleksandr Zholud
    This is a SF space exploration novella in tradition of classic SF educaiment.People go to the stars. And it is done not by a state or corporation, but by million of people across the globe giving money to a non-profit that launches several spaceships with small crews (4 persons) to stars with planets in a Goldilocks’ zone. Our narrator, a female engineer Ariadne O’Neill, aboard the spacecraft Merian, sent 14 light years from the Sol.The book ...
  • Justine
    Originally posted to I Should Read ThatI received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review.You all know how passionately I love Becky Chambers’ books -- she’s one of my favourite authors and consistently puts out incredible stories. When her next release was announced, I was initially a little disappointed that To Be Taught, If Fortunate wasn’t going to be a continuation of her W...
  • wanderer (Para)
    ARC received from the publisher (Harper Voyager) on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.And Becky Chambers has done it again. I know that's a cliché line to use in a review, but I wouldn't be surprised if in a few decades she will be remembered as one of the greats. This is the exact kind of thought-provoking, insightful, ultimately deeply human sci-fi that makes up the best the genre has to offer.However, I went in with entirely the wro...
  • Lauren James
    [Gifted]A near-future look at a manned mission to research primitive alien life outside the solar system. The crew wear patches that alter their genes to adapt to each planet - making their skin glitter on low-light moons, giving them more muscle strength on high gravity planets, etc. The alien lifeforms are fascinating and distinctly non-Earthian. I loved the crew too - some amazing diversity of race and sexuality for only 4 characters. The endi...
  • Gerhard
    I kind of did a double take when I read in the brief author bio at the end of this novella that Becky Chambers has a … wife. Nothing wrong with that in our enlightened age, but it is quite ironic in the light of the main criticism of her Wayfarers’ series as being too conventional, hopeful, optimistic, and too caught up in the minutiae of her characters’ (often very complex and sex-packed) lives.Well, this criticism goes out the window with...
  • Laura Lam
    Why did I make the mistake of reading this while I'm first drafting something. Another beautiful offering from one of my favourite writers.
  • Jemppu
    A pioneering space mission in the near future with it's feet firmly on our reality. The joviality, compassion and diversity familiar from The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet crew meets the no-nonsense mentality and first-person narration reminiscence of Red Mars and The Martian: logging in details on daily maintenance and mission tasks, convincing bits of astrogeological and astrobiological observations, and perceptive personal thoughts on crew...
  • Roz
    4.5 starsWhat an amazing short story! It was a breath of fresh air after the books I’ve been picking up.
  • Steve
    What a pleasant surprise to stop into my local independent bookstore this morning and hear those joy-inducing words: oh, I think we have something for you, ... and then they pull out my pre-ordered copy of this slender volume. Relatively hot off the press Becky Chambers! What a treat!So, of course, I went home and read it ... and enjoyed it (even if I wish it would've gone on for another 100 ... or 200 pages or so, and, sure, I'd have been fine w...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    I received this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!3.5/5This is not a bad book! I just didn't like it as much as I wanted to! Which makes me very sad!So, this is going to be a short review because I don't have much to say about the novella.For the record, novellas aren't my favorite thing in the world. I'm also not too huge on short stories. But, I do love Becky Chambers and thought that if anyone could bring me over to loving them, ...
  • Denise
    "Are astronauts still relevant in your time?" is the final question of this novella-a love song to all those who find joy in learning about the world, any world. With scientific details added that the narrator wonders if the reader will skip over I came away thinking about our moment in time and wondering if a second question should be, "Is science still relevant in our time?"
  • Emma
    This was fascinating and a very engaging concept. It did not charm or entertain in the same way the Wayfarers did, but I did enjoy it.
  • Tim
    Becky Chambers' star rose very quickly with her debut novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, the first in the 'Wayfarers' trilogy. The other two followed in quick succession: A Closed and Common Orbit and Record of a Spaceborn Few. The stories aren't hard SF, have a more humanistic side and are a positive change among the gazillion other SF-novels.I reviewed the books here, here, and here.Anno 2019, a smaller book sees the light of day: 'To...
  • Paul
    3.5Video review available here: Chambers is easily one of the most popular sci-fi writers at the moment. She really connects for people that read sci-fi primarily but also to those that don't read sci-fi much. She is able to do this because she creates fabulous character relationships. Adriane, Jack, Chikondi, and Elena are interesting characters that have various emotional periods throughout the book and are gre...
  • Ali (the bandar blog)
    WHAT THE HELL BECKY CHAMBERSI am just beyond fed up with her ability to make me care about space WHEN I DON'T CARE ONE LICK ABOUT SPACE. Here I am, reading TO BE TAUGHT, IF FORTUNATE, enjoying myself and the worlds she is creating... and then BOOM, the book comes to a close and I'm a messy puddle and I am desperate FREAKING DESPERATE I TELL YOU to know what happens to the crew and to earth and OMG how can it end like this?AND HOW CAN IT END WITH ...
  • TheBookSmugglers
    amazing, hopeful, thought-provoking
  • Kate
    How I love Becky Chambers' science fiction! This stand alone novella takes us to a distant star system where four very normal, very human crew members explore four worlds in which alien life may exist. This is also a philosophical tale about the role of humanity in the universe, kits insignificance, its danger to the world around it, its need of society and purpose. As with most good novellas, I wish it were longer and the ending a little more de...
  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    4.5 StarsBecky Chambers packed such a beautiful and powerful story into this little novella!Unrelated to the Wayfarer’s series, this story had a slightly different narrative style and tone than her beloved companion series. This novella was more focused on the technical aspects of science fiction with a little less emphasis on the characters. The story still had the author’s optimistic view of the future. Yet it was noticeably more toned down...
  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    Trigger Warning: Suicide Attempt Novella’s are hard to review on its own but I still wanted to share my thoughts on To Be Taught if Fortunate separately. After all, it is Becky Chambers. As with all her books so far, it is different from the previous ones and yet it still holds true to her thought provoking writing. As this is a novella the characterization and character discovery wasn’t quite as deep as I am used to by her, but regardless it...
  • Andrew
    Can’t decide between two stars or three (2.5 stars?). Review coming soon but am kinda disappointed & letdown over this.*Review Taken from The Pewter Wolf***eProof given by UK publisher, Hodder, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction***At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a discovery in human space travel. They discovered somaforming: a way for humans to survive hostile environments by using synthetic biolog...
  • Runalong
    Oh wow - that was beautiful and a love letter to human curiosity, found families and science.Full review -
  • Bookphenomena (Micky)
    I didn’t know what to expect from this as a sci-fi novella, unconnected to any story and yet, it blew my expectations out of the water. This is a full-bodied story, detailed and captivating. It was told from the perspective of Ariadne. She was one of four intrepid astronauts who were willing to say goodbye to earth for a long time and to their families forever to explore four different planetary bodies.The science in this read was complex and y...
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum, let me preface this by saying I am a huge Becky Chambers fan and I loved all three books in her Wayfarer series. However, To Be Taught, If Fortunate is unrelated to that universe and the style of writing didn’t have really have the same charm or engaging feeling as her other books. Of course, it’s possible that it’s because we’re dealing with a novella this...
  • Trike
    While I feel the ending of this novella is a bit of a cop-out (view spoiler)[the crew of the Merian chooses not to choose, and, in my opinion, doom themselves to dying in hibernation waiting for a message from Earth that will almost certainly never come (hide spoiler)], I fully acknowledge that viewpoint comes from my own particular bias toward life due to who I am and my generation. Chambers is different from me in many important ways, some of w...