Book name: Goldilocks
Author: Laura Lam
Format: Print, ebook, audiobook
Genre: Science fiction
Publication Date: 2020
Star Rating: 4/5
If you’re in the mood for some soft science fiction, then I’d recommend taking a look at Goldilocks by Laura Lam.
I was intrigued by the title. In fact, the ‘Goldilocks’ zone is the name for a planet where conditions are just right for human habitation.
Goldilocks is set in a future Earth that is not radically different from our own.
When Goldilocks opens, a space mission has just been launched from the US. We already know from the initial pages that the mission is not a success.
Five women have decided to protest against the exclusion of women from space programmes and many other professional fields by stealing a spaceship.
After take-off, however they discover that five men have been stowed away on the ship in cryogenic deep freeze.
The ship is bound for a planet called Cavendish, which lies the Goldilocks zone.
Naomi is the adopted daughter of the leader Valerie, a successful business woman determined to ensure that women continue to lead in science and technology.
All of the women are prepared to build a better world on Cavendish.
There are also some flashback chapters and scenes which provide a vivid illustration of Naomi’s life both as a child and as a young scientist.
Earth is slightly different to the planet we know. Climate change has ravaged the planet, and it has made a search for another home a very urgent matter. There is also a single-child policy in place for everyone bar the super-rich.
In some ways, Earth is all too recognisable. US President Cochrane has won an election and he is profoundly hostile to women working or showing leadership.
During the voyage, Naomi continues with her experiments to maintain and improve vegetation that can be eaten. She also faces the fact that she cannot leave her old life on Earth behind entirely when she discovers that she is pregnant.
Naomi is the main point-of-view character throughout, though she is sympathetic to the situation of the other women. Her main adversary onboard is Valerie, her adopted mother, with whom she has a complex relationship.
Courtesy of the indication at the start of Goldilocks, we know that the space ship doesn’t reach Cavendish and that, upon return to Earth, there must be a reckoning for everyone onboard.
I enjoyed Goldilocks. It wasn’t so much about finding a new home elsewhere, so much as about facing up to our challenges back home. Naomi was brave and relatable, and I enjoyed witnessing the difficult choices the team had to make at every stage in their journey.
Thank you for reading my review.
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