The Chief Designer
by Andy Duncan
read by Jared Doreck
132 minutes - Unabridged audiobook
This novella, an alternate history masterpiece, is told from the viewpoints of Korolev, the "Chief" who mananaged 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 is many tales in one: an historical story that captures the true mood of the period; a science fiction story that resonates on multiple levels with plenty of technology and cosmonaut bravado; and finally, a ghost story as the tales fades away. This story won the 2002 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction story of the year.