Monday, February 1, 2021

Five great alternative histories of WWII and the space race

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and taught linguistics in India. He’s also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

Neuvel's new novel is A History of What Comes Next.

At he tagged five favorite alternative histories of WWII and the space race. including:
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

So much for avoiding the obvious. The Calculating Stars is an instant classic and absolutely everyone should read it. A meteorite hits Earth in 1952 and the resulting global warming menaces all life on the planet. While an international coalition speeds up the space program in the hopes of saving humanity, an incredibly smart human computer persists in her attempts at joining a mission to the moon despite rampant sexism. Mary Robinette Kowal captures the spirit of the era with finesse and the main character is an absolute gem. It’s no surprise the book won the Hugo, the Nebula and the Locus Awards. If you know anything about the history of women pilots, the Ninety-Nines, or the First Lady Astronaut Trainees (aka Mercury Thirteen), you’ll absolutely love this, and if not, this is a wonderful introduction to the subject. Bonus: It’s the first of the Lady Astronaut series. Two more novels: The Fated Sky and The Relentless Moon are available now. There are also two novelettes in the same universe.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue