“The Serial Killer’s Astronaut Daughter” by Damien Angelica Walters

Posted by Nicky Drayden on Oct 5, 2014 in Writer's Life

Strange Horizons, Jan 2014
http://www.strangehorizons.com/2014/20140106/Astronaut-f.shtml
Author Website: http://www.damienangelicawalters.com/

 

Short Women in Space, Review #5

This story is about a Technical Mission Specialist, a space mechanic, if you will, who is damned good at her job. She’s spent more time aboard the space station than she has back on Earth, but when it comes to light that her deadbeat father is a serial killer on death row, her world gets turned upside down–which under the influence of microgravity, usually is not such a big effin’ deal.

Twelve dead women, all with families and loved ones, and the media has decided to focus on me. No, it doesn’t make sense, but it makes a hell of a headline, so they say. Most people don’t remember the names of the victims anyway.

And somewhere in the middle of this whole mess, the press is having a field day. I’ve become the serial killer’s astronaut daughter. I don’t know who the hell she is, but she isn’t me.

And yet here she is, her career in jeopardy because of the crimes committed by a father that was no more than a sperm donor. If she’d been a man, this situation would have blown over within a matter of weeks, reminding us that there are still gender inequalities and glass ceilings, even a couple hundred miles above Earth’s surface.

This piece uses a unique situation to point out some of the double standards that threaten to follow us into the future if they aren’t addressed head on. There are a ton of references to the Alien movie franchise, in which Sigourney Weaver is the supposed measuring stick for all badass women astronauts, and a ton of f-bombs are dropped, so if either of those things don’t appeal to you, you might give this one a pass, but if twentieth century pop culture and sailor-mouthed astronauts are you thing, take half an orbit with this story. I think you’ll enjoy it.



Kathryn D. Sullivan First American woman to walk in space

REAL Women in Space
Kathryn D. Sullivan
First American woman to walk in space (Oct. 11, 1984)
Creative Commons


 

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