A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers
If a novella could be prescribed, it would be this one. Chambers takes every layer of humanity and questions it through the eyes of “the other,” whether that be love, life, death, or the way we interact with our natural world.
We enter Chambers’ new world, a world that exists on a moon that suffered a similar fate to where we are heading with our climate crisis; but in this world, on this beautiful moon of Panga (clever reference to our former landmass, Pangaea), humankind have teetered on the edge of extinction and gained enough insight to create a Utopia in which our main characters reside.
Sibling Dex, they/them, is a monk without a purpose. Nothing can satiate the unsettling feeling of being emotionally lost–that is, until they leave the parts of the moon allocated to human life and venture into the wilds, untouched for a thousand years. But they are not alone, and are soon joined by a wild-built robot named Mosscap with its own agenda.
Chambers creates a kaleidoscope in which we are asked, as readers, to imagine seeing things through the eyes of something else, the other, something created by our own kind who sees the world differently. I struggle with processing my own emotions, and working out what is real and what might be an illusion or a single emotional craving. Being a witness to the monk-and-robot relationship forced me to address my purpose, my role in my own happiness, and my role on this planet.
Respect for nature needs to be embedded into our society as Chambers embeds into her societies. If only Becky Chambers was leading our world, she would lead it into the utopia science can only dream of.
We can expect more from the Monk and Robot series, with Chambers releasing the next installment in July. “A Prayer for the Crown Shy” will follow our beloved Mosscap and Sibling Dex as they seek to answer life’s greatest questions together.
Grab a cuppa and settle down with this world, it’s as warm as the tea in your mug.
Find out more about Becky Chambers and the Monk and Robot series here.