The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette KowalThe Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel

byMary Robinette Kowal

Paperback | July 3, 2018

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Mary Robinette Kowal's science fiction debut, The Calculating Stars, explores the premise behind her award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars."

Nebula Finalist for Best Novel!

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2018-Science Fiction/Fantasy
Winner 2019 RUSA Reading List for Science Fiction-American Library Association
Locus 2018 Recommended Reading List

Locus Bestseller List

Chicago Review of Books-Top 10 Science Fiction Books of 2018
Goodreads-Most Popular Books Published in July 2018 (#66)
The Verge-12 fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels for July 2018
Unbound Worlds-Best SciFi and Fantasy Books of July 2018
Den of Geek-Best Science Fiction Books of June 2018
Publishers Weekly-Best SFF Books of 2018
Omnivoracious-15 Highly Anticipated SFF Reads for Summer 2018
Past Magazine-Best Novels of 2018
Bookriot-Best Science Fiction Books of 2018
The Library Thing-Top Five Books of 2018

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York's experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition's attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn't take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can't go into space, too.

Elma's drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny,, and Asimov's. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen ma...
Title:The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8.26 × 5.42 × 1.16 inPublished:July 3, 2018Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0765378388

ISBN - 13:9780765378385


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love This Book There's a lot of talk about books and movies needing to have 'strong' female characters, but I think what MRK really makes apparent in this wonderful book that what we need is 'real' female characters who push through despite the fears, the worries, the flaws, the opposition, and the resistance from their own damn brains to achieve extraordinary things. The main quote for this book is that it is 'everything they loved about Hidden Figures'. And it is. It's stubborn, and forward thinking, it talks about struggles of gender but also of race. It is gloriously full of technical terms that don't feel like they overwhelm you, but instead make you smarter and make everything seem more life-like (and it should, many NASA people were tapped on the shoulder to fact and jargon check!). The great thing about this 'alternate' history is you can see that this isn't a 'well society suddenly changes to come together because of our problems' type story, MKR gives a very realistic view of how all these human rights issues would have progressed in that sort of scenario. Not like magic, but with characters who knew they could only push things so far, but made sure they were always pushing a little further once a new 'norm' had been established. I would recommend this to anyone who is even remotely interested in anything 'space race' related, NASA related, or just damn good storytelling related.
Date published: 2018-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Apollo 13 meets Hidden Figures - LOVED this book! I really, really enjoyed this book. The story is alternative history and features a scenario that is terrifying but also thrilling ... basically, earth becomes uninhabitable and humans need to colonize space - fast! It's narrated by a witty protagonist who just happens to be a brilliant mathematician and aspiring astronaut. I am not much of a math person, nor am I usually drawn to stories about space exploration, but Elma's character had me smitten from page one. I was fully invested in the story and couldn't put the book down! The Calculating Stars delves into several important themes such as racism, feminism, mental health and climate change. There was a lot of "astronaut jargon" and technical terms but they were incorporated in such a way that even I, whose space knowledge consists primarily of things learned from the Star Wars franchise, was able to follow along. Can't recommend this one enough!
Date published: 2018-08-23

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Calculating Stars"This is what NASA never had, a heroine with attitude."-The Wall Street Journal"In The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal imagines an alternate history of spaceflight that reminds me of everything I loved about Hidden Figures."-Cady Coleman, Astronaut"The Lady Astronaut series might be set in an alternate past, but they're cutting-edge SF novels that speak volumes about the present."-The Verge "Fans of [Hidden Figures] will definitely find something to like in this novel."-SF Revu"Readers will thrill to the story of this "lady astronaut" and eagerly anticipate the promised sequels."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Kowal's book was revelatory for me, because here is a version of history where men eventually, finally, listen to women." "If you like: lady scientists and lady astronauts, space science, lovely romance, the historical fight for equality, if you read or watched Hidden Figures and loved it, if you watched the Netlfix's documentary Mercury 13 (about the very real 13 women who underwent secret testing to become Astronauts in the 60s), please don't miss this one."-Kirkus"A fine balance of integrating historical accuracy-including mid-twentieth-century sexism, racism, and technology-with speculative storytelling."-Booklist"Readers will be hooked."-Library Journal"I couldn't put this paperback down, and I was mad at everything that kept me away from it."-While Reading and Walking"This is a book about fortitude, about preservation, and strength in the face of injustice, resilience as a flag against oppression and politics. Parts of this book makes me cry. I cry in rage, in defiance, in support, and in triumph."-Utopia State of Mind"An engrossing alternate history with a unique point of view, The Fated Sky dramatically demonstrates the technical problems with going to Mars-but the technical problems are the not the only ones. Never backing down from vital issues of race and gender, The Fated Sky confronts the human issues of space travel in a United States made increasingly desperate by a massive meteor strike. Plausible, convincing, and ultimately moving."-Nancy Kress, author of the Hugo Award-winning "Yesterday's Kin"