The Lady Astronaut of Mars

Lady Astronaut #4.5

Mary Robinette Kowal

fiction science fiction short stories
adventurous slow-paced

33 pages | first published 2012

Thirty years ago, Elma York led the expedition that paved the way to life on Mars. For years she's been longing to go back up there, to once more explore the stars. But there are few opportunities for an aging astronaut, even the famous Lady Astronaut of Mars. When her chance finally comes, it may be too late. Elma must decide whether to stay with her sickening husband in what will surely be the final years of his life, or to have her final adventure and plunge deeper into the well of space.
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What the community thinks

summary of 397 ratings (see reviews)


emotional 81%
sad 45%
adventurous 36%
inspiring 27%
reflective 27%
hopeful 18%
challenging 9%
funny 9%


medium 50%
fast 41%
slow 8%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 75% | A mix: 25%

Strong character development?

Yes: 44% | It's complicated: 33% | No: 22%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 55% | It's complicated: 44%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 87% | N/A: 12%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 22% | No: 11%

Average rating