The background premise (major meteorite strike in 1952) is interesting but is not adequately expanded upon. The early and accelerated space race that ensues is not even remotely credible as an effort to "colonize space" in the time-frame anticipated. However this book is really focused on social issues of the time (sexism and racism) and does I think offer a fair treatment of those. I can believe that it also captures the spirit that existed at NASA in the early days of the cold war space race, with its reliance on "human computers". However I am quite surprised that this book won the Hugo award.