Thursday was the 11th meet up of our LGBTQ+ Book Club! We have now changed the date to the last Thursday of each month rather than the first just so you know! This months read was The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which is a sci-fi fiction book. It follows Rosemary Harper, a human who joins the crew of the Wayfarer ship which tunnels through space. I won’t go into the specifics but I recommend that you check out the book (if you haven’t already) and give the synopsis a read!
Everyone at Book Club absolutely loved the book. Three of us had finished it and three hadn’t but everyone agreed they either had or were enjoying it. Everyone who finished it gave it 5 stars and I (being one of the people who hasn’t yet been able to finish it) am really looking forward to getting further through the story!
In terms of everything else we have read so far for Book Club, this is so different. We haven’t yet read a sci-fi for it so that was interesting as it added a lot of unique dynamics and perspectives for LGBTQ+ representation. We try to read a range of books and this is one of those which isn’t about sexuality or gender identity specifically but it is mentioned a lot throughout.
Since there are a ton of species in the book, not just humans, gender and sexuality is explored in such different and interesting ways. Some species all change genders throughout their lifetimes and one very strong part is the use of ‘they/them’ pronouns. Rosemary in particular is very aware and sensitive about using the correct pronouns and terminology when she meets someone from a species she hasn’t encountered before. I think this is really brilliant as we see her trying, growing and learning and wanting to be kind to all. I’ve never read anything like this book in terms of the representation of gender and sexuality and I think it’s wonderful! Sci-Fi can often lack in inclusivity and I’m so happy to read something which features so many queer characters with intelligent and understandable descriptions and explanations.
We had a great discussion about a ton of stuff to do with the book! Whether we would rather be grounders or spacers (majority said grounders) and what characters we really loved. Sissix was the overwhelming favourite (she’s WONDERFUL) and Kizzy is also a delight.
The universe of the book is insanely good. Becky Chambers is so amazing at world building and it feels so realistic and well thought out. The characters are all very three dimensional and have such specific personalities and individual storylines. As you can probably tell, we all highly recommend this book! I can’t wait to finish this book soon and get onto the rest of the series too.
February’s book club is going to be on Thursday the 28th – the last day of the month! The book we have chosen to read is George by Alex Gino so if you fancy joining in, you can buy it or borrow it from your local library!