The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Review copy provided by Tor Books. Also I hung out with Mary for hours less than a week before reading this book, so. There’s that I guess, as disclaimers go.

This book. Oh people. This book.

So the factual description first, what is this book: it is an alternate history of the early space program, with additional meteorite disaster (this is not a spoiler, it opens the book). Its focal characters draw on the neglected history of women in NASA, with a strong eye to the diverse bunch of people that actually got humanity into space from various places on this planet. There are exciting flight scenes, there are intense relationship scenes, there is…there is a lot. I am deeply, deeply glad that there is a second one, and that I don’t have to wait more than two months to get it.

But more nebulously, what is it? It is a book that deals very directly with anxiety, and with the fallout from being simultaneously the youngest kid in the class and the only girl in a technical field. It goes straight to my heart and some of the core of my identity and stays there, sometimes with catharsis and triumph, sometimes with pure struggle. It made me weep in unexpected places that will probably not be the same as yours unless they are. Its heroine doubts herself and screws up–everyone in the book is allowed to screw up–it is a book that understands that humanity and perfection do not coexist, but that striving is still worthwhile anyway. This book is made of striving.

I kind of think you want this book, friends. And I can’t wait for the next one.

Please consider using our link to buy The Calculating Stars from Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *