The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Although listed as a “novelette,” this book is really just a short story. It should be considered nothing more than a snack, not that snacks are bad. The protagonist is/was the first woman to Mars and is now, at age 63, living on that planet with her dying husband. The story is all about the conflict between her yearning to return to space and her desire to stay with her husband to the bitter end. It’s nicely written but with one very odd anomaly: all computer programming is done using punch cards and magnetic tape. Huh? And maybe abacuses? No matter when this is supposed to be taking place, Mars colonization and computer punch cards are not contemporaneous.