The Galaxy, and the Ground Within: A Novel

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within: A Novel

by Becky Chambers (Author)

Return to the sprawling, Hugo Award-winning universe of the Galactic Commons to explore another corner of the cosmos - one often mentioned, but not yet explored - in this absorbing entry in the Wayfarers series, which blends heart-warming characters and imaginative adventure.

With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop. 

At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through. 

When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers - all different species with different aims - are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio - an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes - are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.

Journey into the depths of Becky Chambers' imagination with "The Galaxy, and the Ground Within," a novel that intertwines the vastness of space and the intricacies of human relationships. In this captivating tale, we follow the lives of four individuals seeking meaning and connection amidst the expansive cosmos.

At the helm of the starship "Rocinante," Captain Pei is a woman grappling with the complexities of leadership, driven by a deep desire to make a difference. Young artist Ifemulu embarks on a quest for self-discovery, exploring the vibrant cultures of distant planets in search of inspiration and identity.

Meanwhile, on the agricultural world of Sarmad, scientist Rose and her fellow researchers delve into the mysteries of alien ecosystems, seeking to understand the interdependence of life. And in the heart of a bustling space station, Nnenna, an engineer with a troubled past, finds solace and purpose in her work.

As their paths converge, Pei, Ifemulu, Rose, and Nnenna discover that their destinies are inextricably linked. Their journey takes them through breathtaking landscapes, across interstellar borders, and into the depths of their own souls. They learn to navigate the challenges of prejudice, isolation, and loss, while searching for a sense of belonging in a universe that is both awe-inspiring and indifferent.

"The Galaxy, and the Ground Within" is a tapestry of intertwining stories that celebrates the diversity of life and the power of human connection. Becky Chambers paints a vivid picture of a future where humanity has ventured into the stars, but where the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit remain timeless.


April 20, 2021