The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Set in an alternate history where a massive asteroid hits America’s East Coast in 1952, the book follows one woman who dreams of becoming an astronaut as efforts to colonize space begin in earnest. The rampant racism and sexism of that era is an integral part of the story, giving the book a degree of authenticity that elevates it above a simple what-if tale. Kowal delivers the story in tightly paced chapters that still give her complex characters room to breathe. It’s little wonder that the book won this year’s Hugo for best novel.
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