Celebrating #FearlessWomen with TOR and Mary Robinette Kowal

At Fantasy Literature, we love fearless women!

Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen is a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) are using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation — and get reading!

In her second LADY ASTRONAUT novel, Mary Robinette Kowal continues the grand sweep of alternate history begun in The Calculating Stars. The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars.

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 all over Earth, will the astronaut pool ever be allowed to catch up, and will these brave men and women of all races be treated equitably when they get there? This gripping look at the real conflicts behind a fantastical space race will put a new spin on our visions of what might have been.

And now, Fantasy Literature‘s exclusive excerpt from The Fated Sky

Betty spun in place and smiled at her charges. We did so much smiling for the public. “Oh my! This is lucky. May I introduce the first man into space, Colonel Stetson Parker?” When she gestured to him, Parker grinned and waved. “And of course, Dr. Elma York — better known as the Lady Astronaut.”

 

Smile and wave. Smiiiiile and wave.

 

My job was to make space look as glamorous and exciting as possible. It would be a chore, since at least two of the reporters looked green with the early signs of space sickness. With my luck, one of them would chalk any vomiting up to “space germs” instead of good old-fashioned vertigo. I patted a pocket on my flight suit for the reassuring crinkle of a vomit bag. “Welcome to Lunetta!”

 

“We’re so pleased you could join us.” Parker had the aw-shucks thing down pat. “Hope your flight up was uneventful.”

 

“Betty, what do you have on the agenda for these fine folks?”

 

“I thought that they might want to take a look at the observation lounge while their luggage is being offloaded, but I didn’t realize you all were in here.” That was not true, since we’d discussed this trip at the Monday morning staff meeting. This little exercise was so they’d feel like there was some spontaneity to our dog and pony show. Funny what people respond to.

 

“We’re practicing using sextants, but you’re welcome to watch.” Parker turned to gesture to the window, where Florence was at work. “We’re spicing things up a little by making it into a contest.”

Author photo credit: Rod Searcey

 

About Mary Robinette Kowal:
Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novel Ghost Talkers and the five books in THE GLAMOURIST HISTORY series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

And if you’re interested in seeing the exclusive excerpts featured at other blogs participating in the #FearlessWomen campaign, you can find their links here: This is a MetaphorDark Faerie TalesCherry Blossoms & Maple SyrupSciFiChickBooks, Bones, & BuffyThe BiblioSanctumTenacious ReaderItching for Books, and Across the Words.


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JANA NYMAN, with us since January 2015, is a freelance copy-editor who has lived all over the United States, but now makes her home in Colorado with her dog and a Wookiee. Jana was exposed to science fiction and fantasy at an early age, watching Star Wars and Star Trek movie marathons with her family and reading works by Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury WAY before she was old enough to understand them; thus began a lifelong fascination with what it means to be human. Jana enjoys reading all kinds of books, but her particular favorites are fairy- and folktales (old and new), fantasy involving dragons or other mythological beasties, contemporary science fiction, and superhero fiction. Some of her favorite authors are James Tiptree, Jr., Madeleine L'Engle, Ann Leckie, N.K. Jemisin, and Seanan McGuire.

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