A stagnating community finds a way forward, with a little help from a friend; a restless boy finds his path in life; and a caretaker finds new ways to care.
Let’s discuss the final parts of Record of a Spaceborn Few. Spoilers will follow for Parts 5, 6 & 7.
Ghuh’loloan’s offer of help to reach out to the galactic community in a different way speaks volumes about her thoughtfulness, and how well she’s truly learned during her time on the Asteria. What do you think of her suggestions for how to help the Fleet thrive, going forward?
I loved seeing this Harmagian academic/Exodan enthusiast learn how best to take a more personal approach to her education on the ways of life in the Fleet. She’s essentially been taking without giving in turn, up til now, so it’s good that she saw fit to balance that scale. I could probably talk about the timeliness of certain communities working to reach out to, and be fully accepted into, a larger (global, ahem) one in a way that’s both generous and fair – but heck, even without all the real-world politics looking over my shoulder, I’d love this conclusion to Ghuh’loloan’s visit.
Tessa makes her decision, after receiving an unexpected gift of her own … What are your thoughts on her choice, and on her relationship with George now that we’ve seen more of him?
It wouldn’t be a completely thorough discussion if I didn’t put my shipper hat on, let’s be honest. I love George, and I love that he responds to Tessa’s obviously frustrating dilemma by dropping everything keeping him away, and coming home to talk it over with her fully and in person. And that he realises his own absence was likely only contributing to the problem in the long run, and decides his family matters more. *Heart eyes* Good man, that George.
As for Tessa, I think she is ultimately doing the right thing by her family as well, by trying the whole “actually spending time with George” thing as well as offering Aya an environment she can feel safer and more at ease in, while she grows up.
Eyas and Sunny build a relationship of a different sort, first when she visits him at home and then when they come up with the outreach programme. How do you feel about this budding new relationship (yes this is a shipping question and no I’m not sorry), and would you visit somewhere like the Asteria if you knew that this help would be offered?
*Adjusts the previously donned hat*
Can I just say, first of all, how much I appreciate that the growth of this relationship did not simply involve taking the sex worker out of his chosen career path and making him do something More Appropriate? And that Eyas never questions it even when their friendship with benefits starts looking like it may become a more permanent arrangement?
OK, so, the rest of the question. Ahem!
I think their outreach programme is a wonderful idea, and it speaks perfectly to the book’s over-arching theme of change being a good thing. The Fleet can’t simply go on as it is, only ever keeping to themselves and looking inward. Life is a journey that never has just one destination; the Fleet reached the one that they’d planned for, and now they need to plan for the next. That means open doors, and it means helping others if you want them to help you.
And yes, if I could be assured that their doors would be more fully open to me, I’d love to visit a place like the Asteria!
Time moves on, and Kip grows up, and my heart swells. What are your final thoughts about the changes in him, both before and after returning home to the Fleet?
Oh, my boy. To think he once merely frustrated me!
I think Kip’s personal journey might be my favourite part of this book, from listening to and taking serious advice from an adult he respects, to finding genuinely good friends who are good for him (judging you forever, Ras), to coming back home with a fresh perspective on what the Fleet is worth to him. I felt like I connected most strongly to this character arc on a personal level, so I love all of it.
So, that’s it for this read-along! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it for all time: these books are just wonderful. They’re dear favourites of mine for life, and I’m glad this one stood up so well to a re-read. Thanks to everyone who participated (and put up with my lack of good timekeeping)!
I can’t wait until we get to do this again. Crossing my fingers for more Wayfarers books…