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Publisher's Summary

This story, an alternate history masterpiece, is told from the point of view of Korolev, the "Chief" who managed the most crucial years of the secret Soviet space program, and his assistant and eventual successor, Aksyonov. The story spans from World War II, when Korolev was released from a prison camp to design rockets, to 1997 and the Mir space station.

This endearing story won the 2002 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction of the year.

©2007 Andy Duncan (P)2007 AudioText

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award Nominee, Best Novella, 2002
  • Nebula Award Nominee, Best Novella, 2003

"Inspirational and deeply moving for any true science fiction fan." (

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