SFF

The Calculating Stars

Tor. (Lady Astronaut, Bk. 1). Jul. 2018. 432p. ISBN 9780765378385. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466861244. SF
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In 1952, Elma York and her husband are celebrating their marriage in the Poconos when a meteor strikes, destroying Washington, DC, and most of the eastern seaboard. As a mathematician and WASP pilot, Elma knows the need for space exploration, but now that Earth is poised to fall owing to a climate change of apocalyptic proportions, that timetable has been pushed into the fast lane. Elma wants to be one of those to enter space, and when a program invites women to take the same astronaut training as men, she won't let anything—not family, history, or the attitudes of men regarding the proper place for women—stand in her way.
VERDICT A fast-forward thrill ride, Hugo Award winner Kowal's ("Glamourist Histories") exciting alternate history, the first in a duology, highlights the space race and the sexism of the time. Sf and space history buffs will enjoy this entertaining tale.

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