Listen free for 30 days

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
A Closed and Common Orbit cover art

A Closed and Common Orbit

By: Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Patricia Rodriguez
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £24.99

Buy Now for £24.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body following a total system shutdown and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She's never felt so alone. But she's not alone, not really.

Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over.

Together Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it's anything but empty. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced listeners to the incredible imagination of Becky Chambers and has been nominated for any number of awards and accolades, including the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction, the Tiptree Award, the Kitschies Golden Tentacle and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.

©2016 Becky Chambers (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What listeners say about A Closed and Common Orbit

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    664
  • 4 Stars
    252
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    719
  • 4 Stars
    166
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    581
  • 4 Stars
    231
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Closed and Common Review

What made the experience of listening to A Closed and Common Orbit the most enjoyable?

The themes, characters, and narrative style were all wonderfully drawn together. Becky Chambers continues to create the kind of science fiction I wish I was reading all the time. The tone, depth, and complexities of the worlds and societies she has built, coupled with a crisp, clear breath of optimism and hope make this a perfect read for these dark days.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Sidra.
What I particularly enjoyed was the fact that she discovers her personhood through platonic relationships, through found family, and friendships. So often, in stories of robots or AIs where they are perceived as female it ends with them engaging in a sexual relationship with a - usually male - human. That was not the case here. Sidra develops close familial and platonic bonds with humans and aliens and through their shared experiences and love for one another, she grows. She gets to know her own personhood through her love and friendship, and it is not tied to sex, and perhaps it's my ace side making me biased, but I really thought that was a stroke of genius.

What about Patricia Rodriguez’s performance did you like?

It was a stellar performance (pun intended), though the moments where an online style text conversation is described tended to be a little tedious as the narrator had to read out every single identifying line, every single timestamp, and so on. Other than that, it was great.

Any additional comments?

Ideas like personhood are nothing new to the science fiction genre, and having an AI be the catalyst for such discussions and explorations are fairly common. But where Chambers takes a relatively lesser trod path is that much of the perspective on this is from that very AI, and how she navigates questions like 'am I a person?' Which feels very different to people asking 'is that a person?' in the more abstract. To make this a very personal journey, to put our eyes in that of a computer, does make the reader much more likely to empathise and to connect.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story wonderfully read!

A great follow on from Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. Not featuring the crew of the Wayfairer this time but related characters in the same universe, and what characters!
Chambers has a way of not only crafting s great and very tangible universe but also making rich characters that grow throughout the books.

The audiobook is magnificently performed by Rodriguez. She gives each character their distinct voices using subtle inflections that just make the character so unique and real to the listener.

I absolutely loved it!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 29-06-18

Loved it!

My first reaction in beginning to listen to this was I would have liked there to be more characters common with first book but as I got further into the book I began to fall in love with the new characters, I grew to love them all but I especially loved Tak.

Another great character driven story from Becky where I cared about every one of the characters that the book focused on and that's rare for a book to do. The narration was once again great. I can't wait to read/listen the next one when it comes out and probably anything else Becky writes after that.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not suitable for adults

Pre-ordered so felt obliged to listen, hated the word real by the end. Sloppy writing.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Even better than Book 1

I loved Book 1 and this, despite leaving most of those characters behind was even better. Several teary moments at the end! This series seems to be about tolerance, acceptance, empathy, finding one's place and purpose, and many other things. There are also moments where characters have to act against someone's ill but for their own good. As I get further into the series I am seeing deeper things to chew on.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Something different

I don't normally like twin timeline, circular stories, but this one is done so well I couldn't help but like it. It's the story of the clone Pepper/Jane and a couple of AIs who form a deep friendship in a universe populated with many friendly species. One of them is lost and the others set out to find her.

Breathtaking in its brilliance and simplicity, with a satisfyingly warm ending.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

new favourite book

even better than the first one, if you can believe it! I adore the series, and the voice acting is perfect for the characters. highly recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

I’m completely convinced by this cast of characters and hope to meet them again in future Wayfarer books. I can see this genre might not be to everyone’s taste but I’ve found it more than enjoyable; there’s much emotional intelligence and depth here as well as skilful plotting and originality. I’ve heard it described as hope-punk, I don’t like labels much but there’s certainly hope embedded in this writer’s work and we could do with that at the moment.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

A great second book which really dives into a couple of the characters. Found it an easy listen and looking forward to the next books in the series :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

I would recommend this book to anyone, it is possibly my new favourite sci-fi. Fully in depth world, characters, aliens, story line and arch.
So many awesome concepts.
So much character development.
Everything about this book is brilliant!!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 01-01-19

Not compelling - plot lacks a reason to care

Where book one was successful at creating a broad universe and set of characters, book two failed at drilling down into the back story and day-to-day lives of a few, previously minor, characters.

What's disappointing is that there are some interesting sci-fi / AI ideas scattered in book two, so the failure wasn't on the sci-fi side, but just that the overall plot failed provide me with a reason to invest in the characters. I'm three quarters of the way through and going to return the book. I don't care about the fate of the characters, and I'm struggling to pay attention.

Also the repetition of the word 'real', becomes real tedious, real fast. I know there was a purpose to it, but I'm pretty sure everyone knew who Jane was upon our first introduction to her.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BeijInga
  • BeijInga
  • 29-04-21

Recommended

I liked this book even more than the first book in the series. Great characters. Important topics.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tallulah
  • Tallulah
  • 02-04-21

This narrator takes the cake

The narrator really made this book come alive. I absolutely adored her performance and it made me love the book even more. I don't know if I would have enjoyed the book as much as I did if it hadn't been for her.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emily von Euw
  • Emily von Euw
  • 27-08-20

INCREDIBLE

The narrator was phenomenal. The writing was superb. The story was beautiful. Cannot recommend this book enough. The whole serious is excellent, too.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michaela
  • Michaela
  • 03-07-20

Not a great continuation of the series

The characters are interesting but not enough so for me to get invested in them. As a result, the book drags on forever. It doesn't help that whatever little plot there is is easily predictable and just not so interesting to begin with.

It is not a terrible book but as someone looking for a good sequel to a great first book, this was just so much less compelling.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mim
  • Mim
  • 11-09-17

Galactic Commons, interesting place

Enjoyed this story even more than the first one. I enjoyed the alternating P.O.V. along with the depth of description and world building. The interactions are well described and the planets and space-ship life are fascinating, even after all the years I have been reading this genre.