A Psalm for the Wild-Built

(Monk & Robot #1)

eBook, 160 pages

English language

Published July 2, 2021 by Tom Doherty Associates.


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5 stars (5 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?

2 editions

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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