Becky Chambers Self-Starting Creator of The Galactic Commons

Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women Writers, has written a new post on her blog about the life and career of writer Becky Chambers.


Becky Chambers literally kickstarted her own writing career; no, really, she used a 2012 Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund her first science fiction novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which was not only reissued by publisher Hodder & Stoughton after self-publication, but went on to garner nominations for science fiction literary prizes like the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2016. She says of this first work, “The Long Way was me trying to write this very accepting, diverse galaxy that I would want to live in.” Sequels A Closed and Common Orbit (2016) and Record of a Spaceborn Few (2018) followed, and in 2019, the Wayfarers trilogy won the Hugo Award for Best Series.

Chambers was born in Southern California in 1985 to parents who worked in aerospace engineering and astrobiology. She grew up outside Los Angeles and went on to pursue studies in theater arts at the University of San Francisco, then spent some time in Iceland and Scotland before returning to California. Having worked on the business side of theaters as well as briefly tending bar, she made her bread and butter money doing technical writing while developing her science fiction writing skills; she used the Kickstarter campaign just to get through the last couple of months of writing her first novel when freelance work slowed down. As of this writing, she is working on a series of “solarpunk” novellas set to debut in 2020. She lives in Northern California with her wife, and when not writing, enjoys pursuits as diverse as gaming, beekeeping, and contemplating the skies through her telescope.

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