cover image A Psalm for the Wild-Built

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Becky Chambers., $20.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-250-23621-0

Hugo Award winner Chambers (the Wayfarers series) launches the Monk and Robot series with this contemplative, bite-size novel. Hundreds of years ago, when the robots of Panga first gained sentience, they chose to retreat from human society rather than live in it as free citizens—and they haven’t been seen since. When Sibling Dex, a tea monk, leaves The City, Panga’s only metropolis, to travel the countryside offering tea and a listening ear to anyone who needs it, they are forced to acknowledge a deep sense of dissatisfaction with their life. Seeking solitude, they venture into the protected wilderness zone, where no human has set foot in centuries. Their plans quickly go awry when they are approached by Mosscap, an inquisitive robot elected by its fellows to make first contact with humanity and find the answer to the question: what do humans need? Written with all of Chambers’ characteristic nuance and careful thought, this is a cozy, wholesome meditation on the nature of consciousness and its place in the natural world. Fans of gentle, smart, and hopeful science fiction will delight in this promising series starter. [em](Jul.) [/em]