Stars, my destination!

The spate of good news seems unending. I’ve been keeping part of this under my hat because I was afraid of jinxing it, but just got word that it’s official.

Many of you are familiar with Launch Pad, the workshop funded by NASA to introduce writers to the wonders of actual astronomy. While reading about Launch Pad, I wandered over to NASA and discovered their art program. Considering that the artist-in-residence program includes such luminaries as Laurie Anderson, I figured my chances were slim, but what the heck. It was just paperwork.

Remember back in July when I mentioned good news that I couldn’t talk about? That was when I got word that I had moved to the finalist round.

Now I can let you know, officially, NASA has selected me! It seems that my combination careers of puppetry and writing tipped the balance in my favor. When you combine that with my college days on the sky-diving team, I guess I came up with the right set of skills to be the next artist-in-residence on the International Space Station!

I’ll be heading to Florida this summer to begin training. It will mean a three month separation from Rob, but good heavens — literally, heavens — I’ll be in SPACE! With astronauts! I can hardly believe it. The details are all here, if you are interested in the training regime.

Edited to add: Since it is no longer April Fool’s Day, it only seems fair to tell you that this was a prank.

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55 thoughts on “Stars, my destination!”

  1. Wow — that’s amazing! We’ll hold down the planet for you while you’re away 🙂


  2. I actually like the idea of a puppeteer-in-residence on the International Space Station.

    I imagine zero-g would offer some interesting puppeteering challenges, actually… hmm, there must be story ideas lurking in that…

    Anyway, congrats on livening up what had been a comparatively dull AFD so far.

      1. All the way to the end. I was incredulous through the whole thing, and thinking, “this can’t be true, can it? holy crap, Mary’s going to space!”

        Ya got me good. 🙂

  3. Awwww, too bad! We could have done lunch at some point if this were real. Hehehe. Woulda been way cool, though!

  4. We’re so proud of you! The first representative of the SF world in space! Just remember that if prolonged exposure to zero g causes salmonella to turn into super bugs, there’s no telling what prolonged exposure would do to puppets. I’m thinking you might have a problem if they decided to take over the space station….

  5. Nicely done Mary. I caught it as soon as you mentioned the skydiving team, though, I admit, I’m not absolutely positive there’s no truth to that. It was totally clinched when you mentioned heading to Florida for 3 months.

    1. Thank you! There is absolutely no truth to the sky-diving team. In fact, I have a thing about heights and can only work marionette bridges by serious application of forebrain over lizardbrain. The lizardbrain is absolutely convinced that I’m going to fall and die at any second.

  6. Thank heaven for the comments section! If I had been here first, I would have posted something about how I couldn’t imagine what would have topped making a Coraline doll for Gaiman and being nominated for the Campbell. Good job!

  7. You’re wicked, Mary Robinette Kowal! Despite my policy of not believing any announcements on April 1st, this was the one I almost fell for (the “remember the good news I couldn’t talk about?” was an excellent hook). I’ve never pursued a career that might allow going into space, but it’s been a wistful daydream for much of my life. Even knowing today’s date, reading this made my brain short-circuit a bit.

    Well done!

  8. Well played, Ms. Mary. You’ve got quite the touch there and I hope I don’t ever come up against you in a serious Flay-style joke throw down.

    In a similar and related vein and for anyone nerd-inclined, Wired Magazine has some classic pranks for geekdom here: I will confess to performing two of the ones in their list: removing the mouse ball, and swapping the mouse buttons. Both earned me some serious retaliation in return.

  9. This is excellent! I agree that the “remember earlier” remark was a very professional hook.

    I was partially inoculated by the fact I spent the first 20 seconds looking for some sort of Gully Foyle reference or tie-in. By the time I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I was at the sky-diving comment.



  10. My emotions ranged from the purest green jealousy that I could muster to wistful congratulations until I clicked the link.

    I echo Chang’s sentiments whole heartedly and good naturedly. 🙂

    You totally got me. 😉

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