One of Literary Hub’s August “Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books” | Geek Tyrant’s “The Most Highly Anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of August 2021” | Gizmodo’s “49 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Keep You Turning Pages in August”
When evil forces are going unchecked on Earth, a principled astronaut makes a spilt-second decision to try to seek justice in the only place she knows how—the International Space Station.
Walli Beckwith is a model astronaut. She graduated at the top of her class from the Naval Academy, had a successful career flying fighter jets, and has spent more than three hundred days in space. So when she refuses to leave her post aboard the International Space Station following an accident that forces her fellow astronauts to evacuate, her American and Russian colleagues are mystified. For Walli, the matter at hand feels all too clear and terrifying for her to be worried about ruining her career. She is stuck in a race against time to save a part of the world that seems to have been forgotten—and also the life of the person she loves the most. She will go to any length necessary, using the only tool she has, to accomplish what she knows is right.
What goes up refuses to come back down in this exciting contemporary space thriller from journalist Kluger (Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13). Lieutenant Commander Belka "Walli" Beckwith is a mission specialist conducting research aboard the International Space Station when an errant resupply ship collides with the station and forces an evacuation. But Walli politely refuses to leave the damaged station, saying, "I would prefer not to." Instead, she hopes to use the ISS's cameras to track the ethnic cleansing of indigenous tribes in the Amazon by a greedy Brazilian president. The political is personal, as Walli's niece and surrogate-daughter, Sonia, is a student working with a medical relief agency in the danger zone. With an upcoming intervention vote in the U.S. Congress, Walli becomes a rallying point for the progressive opposition to a rancher turned U.S. president who would prefer to leave his Brazilian counterpart free to clear the jungle. Kluger smoothly covers the technical aspects of life on the ISS and neatly contrasts international cooperation in space with conflict back on Earth. Readers who enjoyed Kluger's depiction of the Apollo 13 rescue effort will appreciate the reciprocity of a rescue of Earth from space.)