Becky Chambers raised $2,810 on Kickstarter back in 2012 to self-publish her first science fiction novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. And this week, Angry Planet was shortlisted for the Golden Tentacle Award for best SF debut, and got a nifty book deal with Hodderscape.
Angry Planet was one of Tor.com's selections for 2014's best books back in December, with reviewer Jared Shurin saying:
Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a joyous, optimistic space opera. It is progressive but not worthy and filled with warm and endearing characters. Although it isn't shy about tackling Big Questions, Planet is a heart-warming debut novel that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general).
Chambers submitted it for the Kitschies Awards, a UK set of awards that includes the Golden Tentacle for the best SF debut. It was one of only eight self-published books among the 198 submissions for the Golden Tentacle. One of the judges, novelist and critic Adam Roberts, told the Guardian:
You're not influenced by the author's prior reputation, and in most cases you're not even influenced by reviews and buzz and so on. So you just read the story – and whether the book is self-published, or put out by a major press, has no real bearing on how you judge it.... We judged by quality, entertainment and by how progressive the books were – and A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was just a huge amount of space-opera-y fun, with some interestingly nuanced perspectives on gender woven into the whole.
And today, Hodderscape announced it's putting out a new edition of Small Angry Planet, with a spiffy new cover. And there are a couple of quotes from the announcement:
Acquiring editor Anne Perry comments, 'I fell in love with Becky's universe the moment I started reading The Long Way; the world she creates is warm and wonderful and so involving that I found myself resenting any time spent not reading the book. I was thrilled to learn about the Kitschies shortlisting so soon after agreeing the deal with Becky – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is an incredibly assured debut and I am absolutely delighted be working with her at such an exciting moment in her career.'
Becky Chambers says, 'after I put this book out there, I figured that was the end of it. I was proud of the small following it gathered, but I thought that was as far as it was going to go. When Anne approached me about publishing it, I had to keep pinching myself. That said, it wasn't a decision I made lightly. This was a very personal project, and I wouldn't have sold it to just anyone. The team at Hodder has gone out of their way to demonstrate how much they care about this story. I know this is the right place for it.'