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Articulated Restraint

(Lady Astronaut #1.5)

by
3.80  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Being a Lady Astronaut means being twice as dedicated, and twice as good as everyone else. And sometimes, handling a test run that has turned deadly serious. Mary Robinette Kowal visits an off-stage incident in her The Calculating Stars series.
Kindle Edition, 26 pages
Published February 6th 2019 by Tor Books
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  244 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars for this SF short story, free online here at Tor.com. Review first posted here on Fantasy Literature:

Ruby Donaldson, an astronaut stationed on the Neutral Buoyancy Lab or NBL, is nursing a severely sprained ankle, which she twisted while practicing a Charleston Flip in a dance rehearsal, one of her few remaining non-work activities. She’s scheduled for an NBL training run and is planning to just grit her way through it with her sore ankle, but the training run turns unexpectedly seriou
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Richard Derus
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A deleted scene from The Calculating Stars that's well worth reading. In spite of pain, in defiance of Proper Procedure, Lady Astronaut Ruby Donaldson works her hardest to save the life of her trapped and desperate friend Myrtle Lindholm.

Author Kowal understands stakes and investment in characters. If you've been chary of committing time to reading these books, try this short piece. If you're not gripped, maybe they're not right for you.

But I'm confident most of y'all will be gripped.
Trish
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story set in the author's The Lady Astronaut universe. It's about the incident with the Lunetta that we know about from the novels. Only this time we get Ruby's perspective as she, Eugene and the team try to find a way to save the people trapped before anyone dies.

Thus, we get to experience a test run in one of NASA's impressive test pools and look over the astronauts' shoulders as they work in the water, simulating a space walk.

As I always loved anything about space and stations
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Cathy (cathepsut)
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
„Being a Lady Astronaut means being twice as dedicated, and twice as good as everyone else. And sometimes, handling a test run that has turned deadly serious. Mary Robinette Kowal visits an off-stage incident in her The Calculating Stars series.“

Nice, despite a staggering, incomprehensible gaggle of space talk. Fairly simple and straight forward story. Don‘t expect any complex plotting.

Can be read for free here: https://www.tor.com/2019/02/06/articu...
Sarah
It’s hard when your first experience with an author is a ten/fifteen minute short story leaves you ugly crying. I expect a lot from her and I expected a lot from this story.

I was happy to get another view point then Elma’s, but the story itself just wasn’t there. I think Ruby felt a little more human, a little more flawed, as a character but the story she was given didn’t really shine.

Ruby was out dancing and sprained her ankle. Then she goes to work as a Lady Astronaut the next day and finds it
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Zoe's Human
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short that focuses on the determination it takes to push through pain, especially when it's self-inflicted. The descriptions of the injury, while not graphic, were well-executed enough for me to wince and hiss several times.
Gerhard
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-fiction, 2019, sf-f
Nice retro piece of SF Space Race nostalgia. The description of getting into, and out of, a Ye Olde spacesuit is surprisingly nerve-wracking. So much for the Star Trek onesies.
Scott
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nail-biter of a short story. The focus is all on one woman's "astronette" abilities to solve a deep orbit recovery mission of astronauts in distress. A taut, tension filled glimpse into Kowal's space opera.
Jana
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
Really good entry in the LADY ASTRONAUT series, of which I've only read a few stories (haven't gotten to the novels yet). Kowal does a great job of making her characters' internal lives clearly expressed to the reader, especially when it comes to Ruby's regret and determination.
Jen
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-freebie
Excellent. I want more. Good thing I have the two books this is related to! 5, shiny spaceship, stars!
Lina
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have
This short takes place between The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, but I think it should be read after you've read both of those, because that's what I did. If I had not done that, I don't think it would have hit me like an emotional freight train.

It was cool to get a different POV on the Lady Astronaut universe! I like Elma, but I also really like the whole alt-history world that Kowal has built up with her gargantuan amount of research, so getting to see it through another character's eye
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Jay
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is less a short story (or even a novelette as the author calls it) and more like a scene that didn't make it into The Fated Sky. There's nothing objectively bad about this other than the fact that so far every book in this series seems to be fighting between is it a novel or is it a vehicle to show off how much research Kowal has done. For a story that Goodreads says is only 32 pages, all of the "action" is the main character trying to get a clip hooked onto a rod. What a snooze.
Katherine
This short is set between the first and second Lady Astronaut books, but I'd almost recommend that it be read after the second book, as it didn't quite feel like much until I was already a ways through The Fated Sky.

It's an "offscreen" event, but it goes to illustrate the dangers of space travel in general, and the almost reckless disregard that people can have for their own safety in order to see something through. I may give it another read after I finish the second book.
Erik
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to the masterful Lady Astronaut novels, this short is merely very good.

Read The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky first.
Dana
I don't remember the scene in the full-length books that this is based off of. I don't think it matters other than context.

Yes, a whole lot of nothing happens here, but that's realistic. A lot of nothing happens often in life. I see it more as a character study of Ruby and how she reacts in a particular situation.
Mike
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Articulated Restraint follows on from Kowal's The Calculating Stars. It tells the story of an incident in space and involves one of the Lady Astronauts back on Earth during the incident. It is an interesting look not just at the world of what goes on in the fictional world, but probably what also goes on in the real world. Although it was a complete story I wanted more.
Lisa Feld
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice to get a view of the Lady Astronaut universe from the viewpoint of a different character, in this case, Ruby, who is caught between the superhuman expectations put on astronauts (particularly women) and acknowledging her limits. I wouldn't mind a few more of these!
Nefeli
There is nothing really wrong with Articulated Restraint. The writing is good, Kowal has, once again, done amazing research on how things are supposed to work in her universe, and the main character is cool.
But this felt more like a deleted scene and less like a short story.
Mauri
A short story in the Lady Astronaut series, taking place before the first two books. Short and sweet, featuring a character who appears in the Fated Sky.

A bit heavy on the "work the problem" technobabble that drags in places in The Lady Astronaut and The Martian, unfortunately.
Michael
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2019, series
I’m a little torn about this one. It’s a short story entry in Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series and it really is little more than a deleted scene. It adds a little depth to the world Kowal creates but it’s incredibly slight. Then again, it’s free so a little unreasonable to carp…
Jennifer
Maybe it is because the story is part of a larger universe, but there were all sorts of issues with this story. I wouldn't suggest it unless you've read the other stories.
Roy DeRousse
Apr 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Suffering and a bunch of technical maneuvers I didn't care about. Sorry, I skimmed through this one.
Kate
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes. Good. Yes. I like Ruby a lot.
Sandra
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, sci-fi
It was nice to see things from a different point of view, but comparatively little story.
Kari
the cover was beautiful as was the imagery. the author must have done a lot of research, you'll feel like you're there.
Neeuqdrazil
More Lady Astronaut: After the Meteor LOVE. (No Alma in this one.)
Kate
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Short story about the "Lady Astronaut". Works well
Kurt
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another story in the Lady Astronaut universe. Very enjoyable, but short.
Jo
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short story involving one of the other female astronauts in the program. A day in the life.
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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
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Other books in the series

Lady Astronaut (4 books)
  • The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1)
  • The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2)
  • The Relentless Moon (Lady Astronaut, #3)
  • The Derivative Base (Lady Astronaut, #4)