cover image Goldilocks


Laura Lam. Orbit, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-46286-0

Lam (Seven Devils) makes the personal political in this tense near-future family drama that’s fueled by the climate crisis. Dr. Naomi Lovelace, a botanist working with alien soils and seeds, joins her foster mother Valerie Black’s all-women team of astronauts in stealing humanity’s first starship, the Atalanta. Fleeing an Earth scarred by climate change and a rising tide of misogyny, tech entrepreneur Valerie plans a better world on Cavendish, a habitable exoplanet 10 light-years away. As the women learn the inner workings of their stolen ship, Naomi discovers Valerie has a hidden agenda and is keeping her own secrets from her foster brother, Evan, their contact back on Earth. Though the exodus plan presents plot holes aplenty, Lam expertly evokes the claustrophobia of both tight spaces and taut relationships in the evolving struggle between Naomi and Valerie for the soul of the mission. This deeply felt space opera will please those who like their sci-fi to focus more on the characters than the science. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Caskie Mushens. (May)