Introductory note: Mary Robinette Kowal’s novelette “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” was first published in 2012 as part of RIP-OFF, an original audiobook anthology from Audible.com. It was later published in text form in early 2013 on Kowal’s personal blog, along with a (few) “stage directions” the author had provided to the audio producers. In the nominating phase of the 2013 Hugo Awards, the audiobook appearance of the story received enough nominations to have been one of the finalists for Best Novelette—in fact, it received the third largest number of nominations. However, the committee overseeing this year’s Hugo process decided that it was ineligible in the “Best Novelette” category but eligible in “Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)”, where, unfortunately, it didn’t actually have enough nominations to be a finalist. It’s our understanding that, without wishing to constrain the committee that will oversee the 2014 Hugo Awards, the people who oversaw the awards in 2013 believe that the author’s 2013 self-publication of the story will make it eligible in 2014. What we think is that “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” is a fine story, and deserves not merely to be technically eligible for the 2014 Hugo ballot, but also to be read by large numbers of people. So we’re pleased to be presenting it to you here in its definitive, author-preferred text form. [—Patrick Nielsen Hayden]


September 29, 2014