New “Lady Astronaut of Mars” Book Series Coming, Based on Hugo-Winning Novelette

Tor Books is happy to announce that author Mary Robinette Kowal will build on the universe of her Hugo Award-winning novelette “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” with two new books coming in 2018!

From Kowal: “I jokingly call the Lady Astronaut universe ‘punchcard punk’ because it’s rooted in the 1950s and 60s. It’s a chance to re-imagine the science-fiction of Ray Bradbury and Cordwainer Smith, where all of the science was very physical and practical.”

The novels will be prequels, greatly expanding upon the world that was first revealed in “Lady Astronaut”. The first novel, The Calculating Stars will present one perspective of the prequel story, followed closely by the second novel The Fated Sky, which will present an opposite perspective; one tightly woven into the first novel.

Kowal elaborates on the story’s inciting event: “The first novel begins on March 3, 1952 about five minutes before a meteorite slams into the Chesapeake Bay and wipes out D.C. I’ve been doing historical fantasy and I keep saying that this is historical science fiction, even though I know full well that ‘alternate history’ is already a genre. It’s so much fun to play in.”

The Lady Astronaut series is Kowal’s first extensive foray into science fiction, having previously authored the paranormal Regency series “Glamourist Histories“, along with 2016’s World War II historical fantasy Ghost Talkers.

Kowal is excited by the challenge, though. “I’ve written all of the map in my short fiction, and am so excited to get to really dive into a science fiction world — even if it is still a historical — and not have to worry about wordcount or length. Plus, yay science!”

You can read “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” for free here on

Author photo copyright © 2012 Rod Searcey


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