#FearlessWomen: The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal Spotlight & Exclusive Excerpt
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women arehere.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”
Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.
Mary Robinette Kowal continues the grand sweep of alternate history begun in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars.
Of course the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but there’s a lot riding on whoever the International Aerospace Coalition decides to send on this historic—but potentially very dangerous—mission? Could Elma really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family to spend several years traveling to Mars? And with the Civil Rights movement taking hold all over Earth, will the astronaut pool ever be allowed to catch up, and will these brave men and women of all races be treated equitably when they get there? This gripping look at the real conflicts behind a fantastical space race will put a new spin on our visions of what might have been.
Here’s the interesting thing: you don’t have to like someone to work well with them. In fact, in some ways, it’s more efficient when you aren’t paired with someone whose company you enjoy, because both of you have a vested interest in finishing tasks as quickly as possible in order to minimize contact. When you’re with a friend, there’s likely to be joking or goofing around.
By this measure, I could be efficiently paired with half of the Mars team. Okay . . . that’s an exaggeration, but it did feel like everyone was angry at me. And, honestly, I couldn’t blame them. It was bad enough that I was a late addition and had to do a ton of catching up, but the way that I was being trotted around like a dog and pony show . . . that wasn’t something an astronaut assigned to a mission was supposed to be doing. It meant that everyone else had to cover for me. Cover for me more.
As we walked down the hall, away from the classroom, Betty glanced over at me. “You okay?”
Sure!” I chirped.
“I tried to put it off. Honest.”
“I know. It’s just . . . I’m already struggling to catch up.” Betty nodded with a grimace. “I’m refusing most interview requests, believe it or not. It’s just . . .”
I know. This is why I’m on the team.”
She led me to the room that PR had co- opted as a makeup and prep room. With a sigh, I settled in front of the mirror and let other people worry about my makeup and hair while I concentrated on my binder of information, with-out the benefit of the rock samples.
On Mars, we’d need to know how to look for potential water flow. That could be identified by small laminations or cross- stratification that showed festoon geometry from transport in subaqueous ripples.
I rubbed my forehead, and the makeup lady gently pulled my hand away. “Mustn’t smudge.”
“Right.” My priorities were a mess. In the mirror, it looked as though I were going to a holiday party wearing a flight suit. My hair fell in perfect soft curls that would never have survived if I’d actually been working. In sims and on the moon, I tended to keep it out of the way in a kerchief, but accuracy wasn’t the image that publicity had wanted.
About the Author
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, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.
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