Becky Chambers, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (2014). A gentle, fluent, very cozy space opera with an ensemble cast of chirpy quasi-millennial misfits, with shades of Firefly, Star Trek, Mass Effect, Redshirts, Karen Lord, Ursula le Guin, Naomi Mitchison,
Here's a snippet about shopping:
“I’ll take it.” Kizzy handed the Harmagian the soap. He took hold of it with two of his smaller tentacles, each covered in a sheath-like glove to protect his delicate skin. He zipped behind the counter and busied himself with foil and ribbon.And here's one about getting space-mugged by pirates:
“There you go, dear guest,” said the Harmagian, handing her the attractively wrapped bundle. “Just chip off a little piece of it at a time, it’ll last longer that way.”
Kizzy stuck her nose to the wrapper again. “Mmph, that smells good. Check it out, Rosemary.”
Rosemary couldn’t help but inhale as Kizzy shoved the block of soap into her face. The scent was thickly sweet and sugary, like a cake. She imagined using it would be like bathing in a meringue.
“That’s eight hundred sixty credits, if you please, thank you,” the Harmagian said. Kizzy stuck out her hand to Rosemary.
“Can I have the chip?”
Rosemary blinked, not sure if she had understood. “You want the company chip?”
“Yeah, it’s soap,” Kizzy said. “Soap is cool, right?”
Rosemary cleared her throat and looked down at her scrib. No, soap wasn’t cool, not fancy soap, but how could she tell Kizzy that? She had come onto Kizzy’s ship, been welcomed by Kizzy with open arms, let Kizzy buy her too many drinks, had vastly less experience than Kizzy in things like tunneling and shopping in neutral ports. But even so —
“I’m sorry, Kizzy, but, um, we can only use the chip for common-use soap. If you want special soap, you have to get it yourself.” She felt the words come out of her mouth, and she hated them. She sounded like a killjoy.
“But —” Kizzy started. Without a word, Sissix grabbed Kizzy’s wrist and pressed it to the merchant’s scanner. There was a corresponding chirp, indicating her account had been accepted.
“Hey!” Kizzy said.
“You can afford it,” Sissix said.
Captain Big tapped xyr chin within xyr mech suit. “If we take ten barrels, will you have enough to reach your next destination?”(JLW)
Rosemary asked Corbin the question. He nodded sullenly. “Yes, ten barrels will not be a problem,” she said.
The conversation had gone from frightening to bizarre. The inflections that Captain Big was using didn’t have a parallel in Klip, but in Hanto, they were downright polite. She would expect to hear this kind of talk in a shop or a restaurant, not while standing at gunpoint. It was as if the Akaraks thought of her as a merchant, with the threat of violence serving as currency.
“We will require technical supplies as well,” Captain Big said. “Our engines are in need of repair.”