Hello everyone and welcome back to the read along for The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet! This week’s questions are from Claire, thanks for hosting :D. This is the point in the book where I’m excited to answer these questions so that I can go and finish as fast as possible ;-). We’re up to 75% this week and there will of course be spoilers below for the segment we’ve read.
1. There is a lot of focus on some of the different alien races in this section, from Dr Chef recounting the story of his people’s decline and Sissix introducing Rosemary to her families, to the surprise visit from the Aeluons and the much less welcome search by the Quelin. What are your thoughts on the various beliefs systems we encounter? Does anything specific pique your interest more than the rest?
I really enjoyed getting a better idea of the history and cultures of these various races. It really makes the sci-fi elements come to life. I still really like the Aandrisks (spelling??) culture that emphasizes physical connection and how Sissix explains the family structure. Rosemary’s struggles with thinking about hatchlings and parents in a way different from human instinct is awesome and I appreciate that the aliens don’t all have our same tendencies, as happens in a lot of sci-fi.
2. Ashby gets the chance to give Pei a tour of his ship and introduce her to his crew, meanwhile Jenks and Lovey decide not to risk transferring the AI into a body just yet, and Rosemary initiates a relationship of sorts with Sissix. Were you happy to see any of these developments, or not so fussed?
Ashby and Pei are cute, but I don’t really feel for them much since they don’t seem to be suffering from their long-distance more than normal. I’m really glad that Jenks and Lovey decided to wait to move her into a body given the likely repercussions and I’m entertained that my worries from last week were spot on! Finally, I was completely surprised that buttoned-up Rosemary would get up the courage to initiate anything with Sissix, but they are my new favorite casual couple haha.
3. Cloning technology exists and is used in many sci-fi universes, but the GC does not look kindly on it and it is abomination to the Quelin. Did the reveal of Corbin’s nature change your view of the character?
I had actually just been thinking before this twist came that Corbin seemed to have faded to the background in recent chapters. I don’t really think of Corbin differently since he was still raised like a natural child. I found Sissix’s comment interesting about humans’ obsession with reproduction leading to cloning, since it is rather true that our cultures all really emphasize reproducing.
4. Each chapter told a different and fairly self-contained story, without any big cliffhangers from one to the next. How did you feel about the pacing of the story so far? Are you satisfied with how long the long journey is taking or are you impatient for the crew to finally get to their destination and do some tunnelling?
I enjoyed the pacing in the sense that we didn’t have to slog through boring sections to get to the next interesting twist, but I felt rather disoriented at the start of several chapters when we all of a sudden jumped forward days without context. I had thought that dealing with the Toremi would be the main plot, though I suppose I should have known better from the title of the book! I don’t mind how long the journey is taking since there is plenty interesting going on, just wish that the jumps weren’t so disconnected.
How are you liking the book so far?
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