Ask the Author – Becky Chambers

As the group chose The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet as their sci-fi book of the month for July (and off the back of the success of Ask The Author -Interview with Michael J Sullivan), I decided to message Becky Chambers to see if she would take part in one for us. She said yes!

Which season of the year would you say most describes your personality?

Autumn. A little quiet, a little thinky, sometimes has blustery days. Not as outgoing as summer or as energetic as spring, but still warm enough to be hospitable. Lends itself to bursts of outdoor exploring, but is mostly good for hiding away inside. Pairs well with a cup of tea and baked goods.

If TLW was to be made into a film/series who would your top choices be for Rosemary and Ashby?

If I’m allowed to time-travel a bit, Jasika Nicole in her early twenties would be perfect forRosemary. Ashby’s a tough call. I have such a clear image of what he looks like in my head, and I feel like I’m just smooshing other people into him. Laz Alonso and Henry Simmons have faces that could fit, but they’re both too beefy. I need a guy with that same sort of welcoming smile and quiet handsomeness, but that looks like he spends his free time reading newsfeeds in an oxygen garden instead of doing deadlifts. I don’t know, casting’s still open on that one.

*SPOILERS* Your next book is A Closed and Common Orbit which I understand follows Pepper and Lovelace. Who is your favourite character in this book that we haven’t met before, aA closed and common orbitnd why (if you can tell us!)?

Tricky choice, but I’m going to go with Pepper’s long-time romantic partner, Blue. I often forget that readers haven’t met him yet, because I wrote a scene with him in an early draft of The Long Way that I scrapped before the final version. Blue is someone I’d be very comfortable hanging out and having a beer with. He’s kind, patient, and has a huge heart. He’s a good counterbalance for Pepper’s constant activity. They’re each other’s home. I really enjoyed writing their moments together.

If you were to write a book outside of sci-fi or fantasy, what genre would you be most interested in (can be sub-genres like steampunk)?

The highest of high fantasy. Elves and talking trees and ancient artifacts, all just dripping with magic.

Outside of ones you have created, who are your top three characters in Sci-Fi/Fantasy?

Samwise Gamgee, Lauren Olamina, Ellie Arroway.

If you HAD to write a book based on an already published video game (I’m thinking like what Brandon Sanderson did for Infinity Blade), which would it be?

Dragon Age, one hundred percent. I’d be over the moon if I could write a Dragon Age book.

If you could have only one, what would it be and why – A trained Dragon or a functional Jetpack?

I feel like I’m being a traitor to my genre here, but trained dragon. I’m pretty good with animals and I dislike operating vehicles, so that seems like a better fit for me. Plus, a dragon offers more versatility than a jetpack. All a jetpack can do is fly you around. A dragon can do that and knock down walls and torch bad guys and be your best buddy.

If you could gender swap a superhero who would it be and why?

Wolverine, because it’d be a real kick in the pants to see a female superhero that was  curmudgeonly.

If you could sit down to dinner with one author, one musician, one actor, and one more person (your choice) that are dead or alive, who would your choices be?

I’m picking three ghosts and one living human: Carl Sagan, Ella Fitzgerald (do singers count?), anybody who performed theatre in Ancient Greece so they can tell me what the music sounded like, and Valentina Tereshkova. It’d be a weird meal. Or, well, maybe not. Half the table would be talking about space science, the other half would be teaching each other melodies.

Did Han shoot first?




A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers is released in October 2016.


5 thoughts on “Ask the Author – Becky Chambers

  1. Greg

    Great interview Kirsty!

    I especially like Chambers’ response to the question about which three people she’d invite to dinner. How I’d love to find out about the music in those ancient plays, and the other three choices are fascinating too.

    One question I’d love the answer to: are we going to see more of the crew of the Wayfarer in subsequent books? More please!!


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