A History of What Comes Next: A Take Them to the Stars Novel

Sylvain Neuvel. Tor.com, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-26206-6
Two women push the space race forward in this thrilling series opener from Neuvel (The Test). Sara represents the 98th identical generation of Kibsu women, powerfully intelligent beings whose sole goal is to “take [humanity] to the stars before Evil comes and kills them all.” In 1932, Sara flees Germany with her daughter, Mia, and, 13 years later, Mia returns to entice aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun to come to America and join Operation Paperclip, a secret U.S. government program to recruit Nazi scientists. She succeeds, but must abandon the project when Sara learns that the latest generation of malevolent Trackers, who have hunted the Kibsu for thousands of years, are closing in. Sara and Mia immigrate to Moscow, where they live into the 1960s, bribing government officials and carefully disclosing intelligence to get the Soviets focused on building rockets of their own. Meanwhile, Mia finds love with a human woman and Sara tries to convince her it’s time to create the next generation. As the Trackers close in and the Soviet Union and the U.S. scramble toward space, Sara and Mia navigate increasing dangers. The balance of wry narration, wired action, and delicate worldbuilding make for deeply gratifying reading. Fans of alternate history and intelligent sci-fi will love this. Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/23/2020
Release date: 02/02/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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