A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Read August 2022
Recommended for Pollyannas of all genders
★   ★   ★   ★

I want to live in Becky Chamber’s world. I’m not dragging on them, really, I’m not. But the world in Psalm is genial, and comforting and almost–may the six or seven gods forgive me–like a cup of tea.

Oh, yes, I said it. Tea. What is it with our modern sci-fi writers and tea? Do they not drink anything else? Has the nitro-infused craze escaped them? Are they unaware of the pleasant way melting ice shifts the composition of a drink? I appreciate, perhaps, that they wish to steer us away from both inhalants and alcohol (so responsible!), but have they considered the health benefits of kombucha? Are they immune to the smooth flavors of cold brew coffee? Or the variety of shrubs that are concocted?

But I digress. A Psalm for the Wild-Built (which my brain consistantly read as ‘well-built,’ a rather different take) is a warm mug of herbal tea (definitely not caffienated) served with some organic honey. It is Star Trek Next Generation. It is a cognitive therapy session with the best possible therapist. It’s a hike and camping adventure in the best possible world, where mosquitos are merely annoying and don’t carry malaria or Zika or dengue or Chikungunya viruses.

Man, I am such a downer. You know who isn’t? Becky Chambers. I want to hang with her more. But only when I’m in the mood for some fantasy sci-fi. Or need some therapy.

“You keep asking why your work is not enough, and I don’t know how to answer that, because it is enough to exist in the world and marvel at it. You don’t need to justify that, or earn it. You are allowed to just live.”

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