Wednesday, August 4, 2021

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1), by Becky Chambers (author), Emmett Grosland (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, ISBN 9781250807748, July 2021

On the world of Panga (apparently a moon orbiting a gas giant), it's been centuries since robots awoke to full consciousness and sapience, laid down their tools, and, after negotiating an agreement with the humans, walked off into the wilderness, never to be seen again.

Now, Sibling Dex, a monk who works as a gardener in their religious house, decides they have had a change of vocation. They now wish to be a tea monk, and travel the towns and villages with a tea wagon, offering tea and comfort to the troubled. This works well for them for a while, till they realize there is still some need unsatisfied. They decide to travel to an old religious house, in what is now the wilderness, long since abandoned. This is more challenging than they anticipated, and this is how they come to meet the robot, Mosscap.

Mosscap has a mission of its own--to find out what humans want.

This isn't just an impulsive quest born of curiosity. Not just that. The wild-built robots called a large meeting, discussed the question, and then asked for a volunteer. Mosscap, impulsively, volunteered.

What follows is the heart of this very gentle, humane, and warm novella. Sibling Dex tells Mosscap that they are a terrible choice to be Mosscap's introduction to humans, but Mosscap will not be put off. It bargains native guide services for Dex in exchange for Dex leading it to human settlements and introducing it to more humans. Along the way, they talk, discover their clashing assumptions, beliefs, and practices, and their very different histories.

In the process, we learn more about the history of Panga, and the world Dex and Mosscap live in. I love these characters, and their world is a very enjoyable one to explore and learn about.


I bought this audiobook.

No comments:

Post a Comment