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A PSALM FOR THE WILD-BUILT by Becky Chambers
Dex is a tea monk, travelling from town to town, listening to people’s sob stories, and offering them a tailored cup of tea to lift their spirits. But even a tea monk, committed as they are to restoring inner peace, has a limit. And Dex has well and truly reached theirs. After leaving a town on their regular circuit, Dex makes a break for it and heads into the wilds. There they meet Mosscap, a sentient robot keen on learning what it means to be human.
Without a hint of saccharine or treacle, what follows is a genuinely sweet philosophical-tract-as-buddy-roadtrip story in which Becky Chambers demonstrates, once again, why she is one of the best sci-fi writers at work today. It’s a genre well-suited to philosophical inquiry, and her engagements with existential questions of sentience, purpose, will and the importance of legacy often reminded me of a more Buddhist Stanislaw Lem. And if that isn’t the highest praise I could give, I don’t know what is.
A Psalm For the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers