A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Monk and Robot #1

Hardcover, 160 pages

Published July 13, 2021 by Tordotcom.


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5 stars (12 reviews)

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

3 editions

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

5 stars

Content warning minor spoilers

Review of 'A Psalm for the Wild-Built' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I wanted to read this because I had heard about this genre of “hope punk” or “cozy punk,” and I was curious. As I expected, there was no real conflict, or any jeopardy or much in the way of stakes. But this is what the genre is about, giving a break from the catastrophe that is our current world, so on that count, I would give it a high score, but I prefer novels with more at stake and more conflict. But I can see how many who are very stressed in everyday life and stressed about the planet and technology might take comfort in this sort of a book (not that I’m not stressed about these things, but I guess I’m used to higher level of stress). I don’t expect to continue with the series, but who knows?

Feels like a warm embrace

5 stars

This novella felt like a warm embrace. It's cozy, cute and light. A traveling tea monk exploring the world coming in contact with a conscious robot. Robots were long forgotten by humanity, having fled to the wilderness to live their own lives. I loved the discussions about life purpose and consciousness. It made me want to continue reading the next one.

Nice and short

4 stars

A monk looking for a purpose meets a robot. They both have much to discover from each other, as they tackle the meaning of life.

Short as it is, this book might serve as an introduction to a larger body of work set in the same world, but it also works well alone from other expectations.

I'd love to see more of that world, a sort of solarpunk utopia where suffering, or illness, or poverty, seem very foreign. The robot wants to check in on humanity, to ask them what they need, what the population of wild robots could help them with. What are the need of a society that's got everything? I'm curious. I want to read more.

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rated it

5 stars
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5 stars
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4 stars