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 could the International Aerospace Coalition ever stand the thought of putting a woman on such a potentially dangerous mission?
I rushed to buy this book the minute I finished its prequel - The Calculating Stars. Mary Robinette Kowal has created an wonderful alternate history - dealing with the practical problems of going to Mars. Not just technical - but sociological.
It's not as as recklessly disaster ridden as Andy Weir's The Martian, but it has its fair share of heart-stopping moments. I'd gladly read a couple more books set in this universe.
It gets a little repetitive - with our fearless Astronette waxing lyrical about her love of baking, and a few too many paragraphs are dense technobabble and encrypted text. But I'd be churlish to call this anything other than great. It left me with a big grin on my face and a heart full of hope.