“No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963

“No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963 — Hank and Connie are two candidates for a space mission.  The couple lives under constant scrutiny while specialized observers analyze their behavior in order to determine their fitness for the mission.  While Hank is confident that they will both succeed in the program, Connie has doubts.  She expresses her emotions, at one point venting some pent up frustration at one of the particularly smug psychologists.  At the conclusion, the same psychologist reveals that it is Connie’s flexibility, emotional honesty, and ability to imagine defeat which make her worthy of space travel.  Hank’s rigid expectations and emotional inflexibility have excluded him from consideration.

Comments: Read in Daughters of Earth; followed by a critical essay, “Cold War Masculinity in the Early Work of Kate Wilhelm” (2006) by Josh Lukin.


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, class/labor/"work", emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, space exploration. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963

  1. Joachim Boaz says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the Wilhelm’s short works as of late. I’m reading through the collection The Infinity Box at the moment and reviewed The Downstairs Room a few months ago. I also read her novels Juniper Time and Margaret and I but neither blew me away.

    • Joachim Boaz says:

      But, the only Wilhelm I’ve actively disliked were her earlier 50s pulp works. She comes into her own in the 60s.

      I HIGHLY recommend her short story Baby You Were Great! (1968) — have you read it? One of my all time favs.

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