A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers readalong week No.3

closed-and-commonToday is the third week for our readalong of A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers.

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Friday 2nd December – Start of Part 1 up to Page 94 (“…yellow, silver, white…”), hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Friday 9th December – Page 95 (Jane, Age 10 “Jane was still tired…”) to End of Part 1, hosted by imyril at There’s Always Room For One More
Week 3: Friday 16th December – all of Part 2, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Friday 23rd December – Part 3 to End, hosted by Mogsy at The BiblioSanctum

To the Q&A with the customary spoiler warning!  Be warned folks, spoilers will be lurking.  And, feel free to dive in with your comments.

So, the opening chapters brought us an apology from Tak to Sidra following the tattoo debacle.  What were your thoughts on that particular scene?
It was a touching scene really wasn’t it.  Plus was a good demonstration of Tak’s change of mind – it probably wouldn’t have occurred to Tak to apologise to an AI previously and yet here we have an apology.  The thing is, sometimes you can give offence, not out of malice but out of ignorance and I think Tak needed time to think about things.
The stories between Jane and Sidra have a certain symmetry and this week’s was no exception as we watched the pair of them almost go through a period akin to puberty.  Did any of their particular experiences bring back fond, or not so fond, memories for you?  
I don’t suppose puberty is a pleasant time for anyone.  It made me smile reading about Jane’s experiences – particularly because she didn’t have any real reference about what was really going on.  When we go through puberty we’re surrounded by a whole bunch of people who are experiencing similar things at the same time.  I must admit I didn’t have a particularly tough time during that period – the worst of my experience revolves around having a face that turns crimson at the slightest thing – and then having a host of people only too happy to point it out.  “Ohh, you’ve gone all red”  *yeah, thanks, I had no idea!*
I love the two separate storylines going on here and though Jane and Sidra share some common ground I think their stories both have something different to say.  What are your thoughts on that?
I guess the two stories are about survival but in different ways.  Jane is living on a planet in fairly dire circumstances.  She seems to be slowly starving and every time she goes out she risks either attack by feral dogs, hurting herself on the terrain or some other accident.  Sidra on the other hand is trying to survive by learning how to blend in.  She isn’t going to starve and physical attack seems unlikely but nonetheless her situation is still serious.  She’s in an illegal kit – I have no idea what the repercussions of discovery would be but I imagine it would involve her being closed down somehow!  I confess it still does my head in why this body kit is illegal but that’s a whole other thing!
I’m curious about the Enhanced.  We haven’t really spent a lot of time with them but I still  think we can draw some conclusions.  Is there any aspect of the Enhanced and the planet on which they live that really caught your attention?
I can’t help wondering if the Enhanced are in some way reflective of our lives to some extent but magnified – I’m over simplifying but we live in a society that has a very ‘throw away’ attitude – the planet that Jane is on seems to have a huge ass scrap pile!  The Enhanced – kind of makes you think that the people have been genetically modified to perhaps make them perfect – so maybe a little bit focused on outside appearances – I’m just saying.
At the end of the chapters we have a couple of new developments.  Sidra has managed to alter the protocols that compel her to speak the truth and the spaceship that Jane escaped in has been uncovered.  Do you have any predictions how either of these might affect what is yet to come?
Well, we’re getting into the last chapters so I’m a bit worried about what exactly is going to go horribly wrong – maybe nothing – you never know, but I got a bad feeling!  I’m hoping that the fact that Sidra doesn’t have to tell the truth might get them out of a sticky situation but I have no reason to suspect that, I just can’t help wondering if there was a hidden reason for it all.  As to the uncovering of the spaceship – I don’t know what that signifies really – other than it being a way to bringing Owl back to fill in the final chapters of Jane’s story.

5 Responses to “A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers readalong week No.3”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I know what you mean about the “oh no, what if it all goes horribly wrong” feeling! I mean, Chambers pulled that on us in the last book proving that an unexpected gut-punch is entirely possible 🙂

    Also good point about survival. I wrote that both of them wanted control over their own destinies, but I like your answer more 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I’m expecting some sort of gut punch too! I can’t help it after the first book.
      I like the control over their destiny answer – I like to see how we all come up with different feelings for the same book.
      This is a funny book to come up with questions for though. It’s not the sort of read where you can really come up with plot points or ‘what do you think will happen next’ type questions. I’m very curious to see how Chambers will end it all.
      Lynn 😀

  2. imyril

    I am so with you in red-faced embarrassment. Or indeed emotion, full stop. Big feelings = SCARLET. It can be funny – at work I once gave a senior manager a dressing down over the phone (I was equivalent seniority, so I could); when I hung up, my team looked at me in awe and told me how awesome I’d been in putting him in his place. Then pointed out that it was probably just as well he couldn’t see me as I’d done it as he might have taken me less seriously (or thought I was going to literally explode 😉

    I agree with your interpretation of the Enhanced. Sure, we don’t build Mothers (yet), but an awful lot of the way in which they’re described really isn’t too far from the society we live in. Ouch.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Lets hope and pray that we never make ‘mothers’. We do have a very throwaway society though don’t we and it seems like The Enhanced are a little similar in that respect.
      Lynn 😀

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