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.
About the Author:
Mary Robinette Harrison was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, attended William G. Enloe High School, and studied at East Carolina University. She graduated with a degree in Art Education with a minor in theater, and began work as a professional puppeteer in 1989. She has performed for the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Productions, and her own production company, Other Hand Productions.
Kowal served as art director for Shimmer Magazine and in 2010 was named art director for Weird Tales. She served as secretary of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for two years, was elected to the position of SFWA Vice President in 2010, and was elected SFWA President in 2019. In 2008, her second year of eligibility, she won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Kowal's work as an author includes "For Solo Cello, op. 12," which made the preliminary ballot for the 2007 Nebula Awards. Her fiction has also appeared in Talebones Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Apex Digest, among other venues. Her debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Two of her short fiction works have been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story: "Evil Robot Monkey" in 2009 and "For Want of a Nail," which won the award in 2011. Her novelette, The Lady Astronaut of Mars was ineligible for the 2013 Hugo Awards because it had only been released as part of an audiobook, but was later published in text format and went on to win the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. The Calculating Stars, the first novel in her Lady Astronaut series, won the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 2018 Sidewise Award for Alternate History.