Once humans began to live permanently in outer space, the harsh realities of that hostile environment became all too apparent. Astronauts living aboard space stations had to pay a terrible price: increased mortality and a lifelong exile from the mother planet. Still, many sought to move to the high frontier and break away from Earth. Not all were fit for this difficult life, however, and this is the tragic story of one would-be astronaut who was forced to back down from her dream of space.
Author James Patrick Kelly is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award and a 2007 Nebula Award winner. His stories appear frequently in Asimov's Science Fiction, and he writes the magazine's "On the Net" column. Publishers Weekly has called him "a meticulous craftsman in the demanding short-story form".