GPL Blog

Book Review | A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

From the publisher: Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers’s delightful new series gives us hope for the future.

Becky Chambers has written the perfect little blanket fort for 2021. Reminiscent of Plato’s Symposium with a hearty dose of Whitman-esque musings, it’s basically a conversation about the why of life. Sibling Dex is a tea monk who has lost their sense of purpose and is on a journey to find it, and Mosscap is an optimistic robot who runs into Dex along the way.

Non-binary main character alert! Yes!!

This is a short 160 pages with very little plot. Dex is tired of the city, so Dex becomes an excellent tea monk who visits rural towns. Dex still doesn’t think they’re doing enough with their life, so they decide they need to visit the ruins of civilization from past centuries. And centuries ago, the robots had decided they weren’t going to work for humans anymore, and they left for the wilderness.

Of course, Dex meets Mosscap, one of the aforementioned robots. You know how Arthur Weasley feels about muggles? This is how Mosscap feels about humans. He’s in awe of absolutely everything.

This is a wonderful antidote to the feelings of inadequacy that our world can sometimes infect us with if we let it. I think we’re often led to believe that if a Thing doesn’t make a profit in some way, the Thing is not worthwhile. Or if we’re not the absolute best at the Thing, we should drop it and step aside. This novella essentially turns that upside down and inside out. I needed to read this. YOU need to read this. EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built is available for checkout from the Galesburg Public Library.