Sci Fi

The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

I went on a spree of banal updating just to do something, and now my authors pages are updated till august of this year if any links are broken (if you do check it out) let me know!s


I have seen quite a few rave reviews of this duology and when I saw it available at my library, I decided to give it a shot!

This was a very interesting book. It had so many components that are worth discussing. The story is a sort of dystopia created when an asteroid destroys an entire city of the US, and the repercussions on the atmosphere and the environment in general. Our leading lady Elma York is a mathematician and physicist who is married to a rocket engineer. They are spending a weekend in the Poconos when disaster strikes and survive (barely). This story spans the question of ethnicity, colour, and loyalties along with self-care and loving relationships. Elma is blind to the injustices and has her own preconceived notions when it comes to how non-whites are treated as she is more focused on her own ‘drawbacks’- being a woman and a jew at a time when both caused a certain reaction from the groups in which they moved. It was very interesting to see how religion played a part in Elma’s outlook since she used it a supporting system to help her through hard times while it did not take over the story.

Elma is a good pilot who had made an enemy of the current man-in-charge in the last war where she struggled to actually be of combat use but was never allowed. Now her hope of being an astronaut is at the forefront but he may have power over her. Did I mention the asteroid event has Earth scrambling to colonize outer space? This last bit is the backbone that runs through the tale, which has laid an interesting foundation for the next book. My eyes glazed over the maths part of the story (although I am an Engineer by education), I did not want to get distracted from the actual narrative and also I did not understand large chunks of it (or did not try hard enough). Last but not least are the interpersonal relationships- marriages, siblings and friends, these were done so well I couldn’t help but rejoice with every positive scene and look forward to the next such interaction. This book was so addictive that I read it in one day, with minimal breaks. I have already reserved the next book and I have really high hopes for it.

I recommend this to those people who look for more people based story in a Sci-fi background because, at the core of it, it is all about the social context in the scene and all about the people more than the actual event or the dystopian scenario.

Book Depository (Affiliate link)


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