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The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette…
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The Lady Astronaut of Mars (2013)

by Mary Robinette Kowal

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lady Astronaut (short story)

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» See also 24 mentions

English (14)  Hungarian (1)  French (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Show of hands: who remembers punch cards? They were so great for grocery lists and notes.

I'm puzzling over the Dorothy connection. They're not in Kansas anymore? I mean, I see why the character exists in the story, but why is it Dorothy, with her Uncle Henry and her Auntie Em? Anyone?

So, basically, I loved this. I loved this a lot, a lot, a lot. Aging, losing family members to age, not having children to care for you or your spouse when you age, still wanting to work and be valuable and follow your dreams despite your age and trying to balance that with your responsibilities. It pushed all my buttons. Probably my #2, though I'll really have to consider this and "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" again before deciding.
( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
Emma York led the expedition that paved the way for human life on Mars--thirty years ago. Now, much as she'd like to fly again, she's living on Mars, caring for her dying husband, and old enough that though she stays on the rolls, she know she has no realistic chance of once again crewing a spaceship.

Then a habitable planet is discovered in another solar system, and the first trip is going to be long and difficult in ways subsequent trips won't be. NASA has very good reasons for wanting to send an older astronaut, and someone who is very good PR.

Emma York is older, experienced, level-headed--and a popular, beloved public figure. NASA wants her to go.

And she wants to go. She wants very much to go. Except for one thing.

Her husband is dying. It'll be a year before she leaves, if she the takes the job. Her husband might die by then--or he might not. They have no children. She might be leaving him to die alone.

Emma, her husband, their doctor, and their boss are all well and sympathetically portrayed. This is both a genuinely science-fictional story, and a compelling character study. What will Emma do? What should she do? What is the right thing?

It's a novelette, not a long read, and well worth your time. Strongly recommended.

I bought this story. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
This was beautiful.
In such a short piece I felt sad, happy, wonder, and love. The way that the Lady Astronaut was portrayed was so wonderful, and I loved how we see her relationship with her husband. I liked that we also got a glimpse of the realities of space travel, and the longing to be back in space for this character.

This was heartbreaking and beautiful. I am very looking forward to the novel coming out. ( )
  jdifelice | Sep 3, 2018 |
Very good, but a hard read right now for me having just lost my Dad, watching my grandparents get older and my own life decisions. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
The story begins with an ironic inversion of expectations. Here is a little girl called Dorothy, living on the Kansas plains with her uncle Henry and aunt Em, but this Dorothy lives in the shadows of a rocket launch for the First Mars Mission. Elma, one of the crew on this first mission in the 1950s, meets Dorothy again in surprising circumstances thirty years later on Mars. Retired from flying, worn out by caring for her dying husband, and haunted by their decision not to have children, Elma has cobbled together a life for herself in the colony, but is sorely tempted when she is offered one last mission. This is a lyrical and engaging tale of choices made, choices regretted and the lure of second chances.

To see the review on my blog, please follow this link:
https://theidlewoman.net/2016/12/28/short-stories-from-tor-com/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Dec 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Robinette Kowalprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pope, RichieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife.
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Readable online: http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/the-lady-astronaut-of-mars.

Thirty years ago, Elma York led the expedition that paved the way to life on Mars. For years she's been longing to go back up there, to once more explore the stars. But there are few opportunities for an aging astronaut, even the famous Lady Astronaut of Mars. When her chance finally comes, it may be too late. Elma must decide whether to stay with her sickening husband in what will surely be the final years of his life, or to have her final adventure and plunge deeper into the well of space.

[retrieved 11/13/2014 from Amazon.com]
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Mary Robinette Kowal is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Mary Robinette Kowal chatted with LibraryThing members from Sep 13, 2010 to Sep 26, 2010. Read the chat.

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