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The Fated Sky

(Lady Astronaut #2)

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4.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,191 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
Of course the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but there’s a lot riding on whoever the International Aerospace Coalition decides to send on this historic—but potentially very dangerous—mission? Could Elma really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family to spend several years traveling to Mars? And with the Civil Rights movement taking hold ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Tor Books
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Popular Answered Questions
Mary Robinette Kowal Yes. This is the best book in the history of ever.
Mary Robinette Kowal I would recommend it. My other series you can step into at any point, but this is truly a duology.

You can read the first book and stop, but this one…more
I would recommend it. My other series you can step into at any point, but this is truly a duology.

You can read the first book and stop, but this one is hard, I think without the first.(less)

Community Reviews

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Brandon Sanderson
I thoroughly enjoyed The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, and so was excited for the release of the sequel, The Fated Sky. As I suspected it might be, it was that kind of book.

You know, that kind of book where you start reading at midnight, knowing full well that this is a very bad idea, and finish at 5:00 AM, knowing you will be sorry for having gotten no sleep, but not at all sorry for having read the whole book at once? The Fated Sky was that kind of book for me.

You know that kind o
...more
Bradley
The worldbuilding aspect deserves mention because this is a full continuation of all the events in the previous novel, one where a meteorite destroys a good portion of the United States and where the nineteen-sixties become a backdrop for a big push off the planet due to rampant heating and eventually boiling oceans.

What makes the novel special is the luck and quirk and the actions of the women to get themselves equal access to the whole project. It's not just a space race. It's the survival of
...more
Trish
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Lady Astronaut duology (my review for the first installment can be read *here*) and thus continuing as well as concluding the story of Elma and her quest to get to Mars in order to save humanity from the consequences of a meteorite strike that hit Earth about 10 years ago.

This second book opens in 1961 and progresses over a couple of years (less than the first). Elma has been shuttling to and from the Moon but that doesn't mean that the space program has become any
...more
Allison Hurd
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fem-author, scifi
Okay...that was cute. I thought Calculating Stars was sweet, and I cheered for our heroine. But this one works much better as a book, I think. More action, more adversity, more emotion...it lacked a few of the charms of the first book, but I found it more powerfully written.

CONTENT WARNING: (no actual spoilers, just a list of topics) (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-All the space stuff. I really just enjoyed the cra
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
My long awaited sequel of The Calculating stars (review here) turned out to be just as amazing as the first book! After closing the last page, I was just as devastated as the first time round that I have to leave the world of this story. The Lady Astronaut books remain the kind of story you don't really want to leave.

The biggest theme in this book is racism – especially when you're talking about relocating the human race and having to pick who goes and who stays. This was presented wonderful
...more
Sarah
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually finished this a few days ago, but wanted to reflect on it a bit before writing this review. I was a little disappointed with this after The Calculating Stars, and at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it might be.

First things first- plot summary: Elma goes to Mars. That’s it. This was a large part of the problem for me. Having already read The Lady Astronaut of Mars, the ending was kind of a foregone conclusion. There wasn’t any kind of intense battle for women’s equality
...more
Lindsay
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Continuing on from one of the best books I've read this year (The Calculating Stars), we have ... one of the best books I've read this year.

Events have moved on from the first mission to the Moon and on to planning for Mars. Elma Wexler is spending half her year living on the moon base and piloting missions there, but is contemplating giving it all up as she has hit yet another glass ceiling. When she again demonstrates her grace under pressure, she gets put on the crew for the first mission to
...more
Richard Derus
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, returned
Thirteen (13) w-bombs. THIRTEEN.

And I still gave it all five stars.

I am plumb wore out and need me some shut-eye. I'll be back tomorrow or something.
Lata
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And, we're off to Mars!
This novel felt tighter and flowed better than book one. It's 1961, and humans have colonised the moon. Elma's been ferrying people back and forth between the moon and earth. NASA's been preparing, in the meantime, for a trip to Mars to investigate it for a future colony. Because of a growing opposition movement on earth (Earth First), NASA's budget's and the Mars endeavour are in jeopardy. Elma's parachuted into the already months-long training program, much to the disgus
...more
Robyn
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Once again, Kowall has done a meticulous job with her research, creating a very believable and detailed portrait of a mission to Mars .... in the early 60’s. This didn’t make five stars merely because I was a bit put off by the jump forward in time and I was expecting a more concrete resolution to the books. I kept expecting there to be more even as I neared the end. And perhaps there will be, I don’t know. I do know that I’d read it if there were!
Aidan
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Calculating Stars, but *devoured* The Fated Sky. Brilliant.
Shaun Hutchinson
I really adored this second installment of the Lady Astronaut series, and I wish there were more to come. I especially liked the interplay between Elma and Parker. I felt like they were both flawed characters (Parker flawed more than Elma) who came to understand, respect, and even appreciate one another.
Rob
Executive Summary: I liked this book more than The Calculating Stars in some ways, and less in others.

Audiobook: Ms. Kowal once again does a great job narrating her own book. She does all the little things that adds that element that makes doing the audio worth it.

Full Review
I liked The Calculating Stars so much that I bought this book even before I had finished listening to that one.

This one gets more in the fiction part of the sci-fi and feels much less like historical fiction than its pred
...more
Valeria
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
17 December 2014, Mary Robinette Kowal tweeted, "It's not about adding diversity for the sake of diversity, it's about subtracting homogeneity for the sake of realism." For me, The Fated Sky embodies this tweet in a powerfully refreshing way. The diverse cast of characters presented in this book deal with a number of timely issues without ever coming across as preachy. Elma's flawed perceptions of the world around her are at times brought into focus in ways that help add depth to her and all of ...more
Liz Orange
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

I'm happy to say that I was utterly blown away with The Lady Astronaut series.

This is an alternate history series that covers multiple topics that were issues in the early 60's and are issues today, including but not limited to sexism, racism, and mental health. The Fated Sky continues Elma's story three years after the events of The Calculating Stars . Just when Elma decides she wants to settle down and start a family with Nathaniel, sh
...more
Carla Estruch
La bonitez... En Marte. Más o menos.
Francesca
I really liked this book.
The characters feel real and tangible, as in the previous book; I was looking forward to seeing how some relationships would develop, and I wasn't at all disappointed. The science part is enjoyable and well balanced in the story, as in the previous book; you can feel the relevance of it without getting too technical.

I'd rate The Fated Sky 5 stars if it weren't for (view spoiler)
...more
Billie
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry this is done because I want more. I want to know about life on Mars. I want to see how Elma and Nathaniel's marriage changes in this new environment. I just want more.
Marzie
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-paper
The Fated Sky is the sequel to The Calculating Stars, one of the best books I've read this year. This is, in many ways, a more grueling book, and offers drama quite different from surviving a meteorite obliterating the East Coast of the US and the struggle to become a female astronaut. In The Fated Sky we find Dr. Elma York struggling to find her place on a crew that she never expected to be with, on a mission to Mars she didn't expect to be on, after the International Aerospace Coalition begins ...more
Simone
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal is a very powerful sequel to The Calculating Stars, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I could spend this review talking about the aspects of the alternative history, tiny little alterations (other than the meteor from the first book) that changed the shape of the world, but I think I should first talk about my favourite thing about this novel.

My singular favourite thing about The Fated Sky could have been the adventure of it—the adventure of travelling to M
...more
Leah Rachel
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
The Fated Sky is the sequel to one of my favorite books of 2018, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. The first tells the story of Elma York, a test pilot and calculator, set against an alternate history where a meteor caused the planet to start a rushed path to human extinction. She and her husband become part of a space program that is no longer a race, but a necessity progression into the stars—because life in space is now humanity’s only hope.

The sequel is set (spoilers for the fir
...more
Mike
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps not as groundbreaking as the first installment but a fitting finish to this two-novel series.
Rana
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When does the movie come out? I need this as a movie. Please?
Jolyn
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish there were more Lady Astronaut books!! I loved it! ❤ 👩🚀 ...more
Carin
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say too much about this book or I will give away spoilers for the first book, The Calculating Stars. Suffice it to say that I was sick as a dog but I stayed up until 1:00 AM to finish it. I was about to reluctantly put it down with about 40 pages left when Something Shocking Happened and then I was in it to the end. It's a great sequel and I was super bummed to find out there will not be any more Lady Astronaut books (there is a short story which won the Hugo Award, which was published f ...more
Morgan Dhu
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second of Kowal’s “Lady Astronaut” novels, The Fated Sky, takes up a few years after the first novel ends. Having made it to the Moon, and established the beginnings of a colony there, the next goal in the space program is Mars. The extreme climate changes triggered by the Meteor fall are beginning to have demonstrable effects - the temperature is rising, the cloud cover remains thick, adding to the greenhouse effect, and while it is possible that not all the earth will become uninhabitable, ...more
Tsana Dolichva
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal is the sequel to The Calculating Stars, which I read and reviewed immediately prior. The Fated Sky takes place a few years after the end of The Calculating Stars and continues to follow Elma in first person. This review will contain some spoilers for the first book, but not more than if you’ve already read "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" novelette.

This was an interesting sequel. It follows a very similar overall structure to the first book but rather than striv
...more
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
4.5 stars

The Lady Astronaut heads to Mars...but the road is bumpy and bleak.

Elma York is tired of flying to the moon. She never thought she'd say it, but after four years of shuttle flights, she's exhausted of being a glorified bus driver. She wants to go to Mars. When the opportunity is offered, she takes it—but her decision has ramifications that ripple throughout the already established teams, her marriage, and her relationships with her friends and family.

To be honest, I loved this book but
...more
Samantha (AK)
(Apparently “a couple days” translates to “more than a week” right now. I have no idea how I got so much reading done last October, because it is not happening this month.)


I kind of want to give this 4* on principle, but I can’t make it happen. Sometimes, if it’s strictly a timing issue, a few days lag will give me perspective, but no such luck this time around. I loved The Calculating Stars from start to finish, and the fact that I can’t muster up feelings beyond ‘I guess I liked it’ for the se
...more
Bonnie McDaniel
This is the sequel to The Calculating Stars. I've read that the story was originally supposed to be all one book, but the author asked that it be split in two. This was an inspired decision, as I can't imagine trying to cram both stories into one book. Even the covers reflect the difference: blue for the first book and the launch to the moon, and red for this one and the First Mars Expedition.

Our core characters, the married couple Nathaniel and Elma York, engineer and human computer/astronaut r
...more
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Mary Robinette Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and her short story "For Want of a Nail" won the 2011 Hugo. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year's Best anthologies. She is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass (Tor 2012).

Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, has performed for LazyTown (CB
...more

Other books in the series

Lady Astronaut (4 books)
  • The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)
  • The Relentless Moon (Lady Astronaut, #3)
  • The Derivative Base (Lady Astronaut, #4)