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The calculating stars
2018
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Summary
<p> Mary Robinette Kowal's science fiction debut, The Calculating Stars , explores the premise behind her award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars." <br> <br> Goodreads --Most Popular Books Published in July 2018 (#66) <br> The Verge --12 fantastic science fiction and fantasy novels for July 2018 <br> Unbound Worlds --Best SciFi and Fantasy Books of July 2018 <br> Den of Geek --Best Science Fiction Books of June 2018 <br> Omnivoracious --15 Highly Anticipated SFF Reads for Summer 2018 </p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p>
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  Booklist Review

The first half of Kowal's two-book tale The Fated Sky will follow begins in 1952 when a meteorite strikes Earth, causing a global cataclysm. The eastern coast of the U.S. crumbles, and the rest of the world faces a climate shift. A former WASP pilot and a brilliant mathematician, Elma York works for the International Aerospace Coalition, along with her engineer husband, expediting efforts to colonize other planets. Recognizing that she and her female colleagues are just as qualified as the men, Elma fights for their right to become astronauts. She builds momentum for their cause by hosting a women-only air demonstration, speaking on a Bill Nye-type kids show, and passing tests with ridiculous rules her male counterparts would never be asked to endure. Although Kowal's latest is a definite deviation from her popular Glamour Histories series, she once again strikes a fine balance of integrating historical accuracy including mid-twentieth-century sexism, racism, and technology with speculative storytelling. Readers will root for Elma as she breaks barriers and calculates lifesaving equations, all while dealing with sometimes-crippling anxiety. Recommend to fans of realistic sf.--Biz Hyzy Copyright 2018 Booklist
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