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The Wanderers

by Meg Howrey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4523148,617 (3.8)24
"Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them--and their families--changed forever In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves. In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they're the crew for the job by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation ever created. Retired from NASA, Helen had not trained for irrelevance. It is nobody's fault that the best of her exists in space, but her daughter can't help placing blame. The MarsNOW mission is Helen's last chance to return to the only place she's ever truly felt at home. For Yoshi, it's an opportunity to prove himself worthy of the wife he has loved absolutely, if not quite rightly. Sergei is willing to spend seventeen months in a tin can if it means travelling to Mars. He will at least be tested past the point of exhaustion, and this is the example he will set for his sons. As the days turn into months the line between what is real and unreal becomes blurred, and the astronauts learn that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The Wanderers gets at the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart"--… (more)
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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I forced myself to finish this. Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. ( )
  lacurieuse | Nov 11, 2021 |
It's sad that my 200th book of the year wasn't a good one.

Oh, it has its moments. It's actually quite well-written, and brilliantly observed, if I'm going to be honest.

But, it's a typical "literary" novel: long on observation and thought, really thin on plot and wraps up with a non-ending ending.

Yeah, there's some wrap up, yeah, there's some plot, but I realized about a third of the way through what was coming...or, not coming, as it turns out...and almost set the book aside.

I'm glad I didn't, simply for the writing, but damn it, I really do prefer a book where something other than thought happens. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Three astronauts have been selected for the first crewed mission to Mars. Well, they might be going to Mars. The idea is that first they will do a simulated version of the trip, complete with full-length stints in rather cramped spaceships, while they and their families are observed to see how well they handle it.

I must admit, this wasn't quite what I was expecting. Despite having seen it described as a "psychological novel," I was somehow expecting a more compelling sort of narrative, a little bit more plot. Indeed, such plot as there was didn't exactly work for me, as there's an ambiguous but important aspect to things that I just couldn't really accept at all.

But even the stuff that doesn't work on a plot level does work beautifully on a thematic one. Ultimately, this isn't a novel about training to go to Mars, but rather one about all the ways in which people try to shape their own selves into who they think they should be, and about the faces we present to each other. The Mars simulation idea is a wonderful metaphor for that, and Howrey approaches it in some complicated, insightful ways I don't think I've ever seen done before. ( )
1 vote bragan | Aug 1, 2021 |
fiction (human drama astronauts; one of the main characters has Asperger's). ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
The author used the premise of a 7 months long dress rehearsal for a trip to Mars by isolating three engineer astronauts: a Russian man, a Japanese man, and an American woman, in a simulation of the voyage to come. The narrative also closely followed two of their children, a teen and a young adult, as well as the Japanese man's wife. Under the guise of this simulated voyage, the reader watches the astronauts and their relatives explore their own identities and how they related to each other. I can't say that the book moved me much emotionally, probably because I am not a parent and much of this book explored parental feelings. But it was original and intellectually stimulating. ( )
  vwinsloe | May 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Meg Howreyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cavanaugh, MeighanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marno, MozhanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Exploration without science is just adventure.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Station Eleven meets The Martian in this brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them--and their families--changed forever In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves. In four years Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshi Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they're the crew for the job by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation ever created. Retired from NASA, Helen had not trained for irrelevance. It is nobody's fault that the best of her exists in space, but her daughter can't help placing blame. The MarsNOW mission is Helen's last chance to return to the only place she's ever truly felt at home. For Yoshi, it's an opportunity to prove himself worthy of the wife he has loved absolutely, if not quite rightly. Sergei is willing to spend seventeen months in a tin can if it means travelling to Mars. He will at least be tested past the point of exhaustion, and this is the example he will set for his sons. As the days turn into months the line between what is real and unreal becomes blurred, and the astronauts learn that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The Wanderers gets at the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart"--

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