Athena’s Daughter – Maggie Allen excerpt

maggieallenI always wanted to be an astronaut. That didn’t end up happening for a variety of reasons, but I do work at NASA now. I landed in a niche that lets me write (and communicate) about the science that we do at NASA, particularly in astrophysics.

Getting to blend science and writing is fulfilling to me – and even more so when I can tie those things to a story.

My story for Silence in the Library Publishing’s latest project, an anthology called “Athena’s Daughters” is about a thirteen-year-old, African-American girl named Bee who spends her summer vacation at camp on the moon. Her passion is botany and anything to do with growing plants – so you can imagine her excitement at spending a summer learning about moon rocks. Lunar Camp ends up being way more than she bargains for in many ways.

Writing this story was so much fun, because it gave me the chance to live vicariously through my character. I personally would loved to have gone to camp on the moon, even if Bee wasn’t thrilled about it.

When I was in 10th grade, I went to Space Camp, so I was able to draw partially on my experiences there for my story, as well as my own interest in all things science and space when I was young.

As a teen I also loved reading space adventure stories – and I loved the Heinlein juveniles in particular. It wasn’t til I was older that I realized that many of these stories were written for boys, and that girls didn’t really get to have adventures. It was a pleasure for me to write a story about a girl who gets to do just that.

I am also incredibly thrilled that Pam Melroy agreed to do the foreword for our anthology. She is a retired astronaut and one of only two female space shuttle commanders. I got to meet her once and what a thrill it was to talk to a woman who actually got to have real adventures in space.

Here is a short exerpt from “Lunar Camp.” You’ll find the rest of it in Athena’s Daughters:

You can read an excerpt from my Athena’s Daughters short story here:


Maggie Allen recently started writing short fiction, but for her day job at NASA she has years of experience writing and podcasting about various non-fiction topics in astronomy and astrophysics. Maggie is a guitarist and singer in the rock band “Naked Singularity,” which released its first album of original music in 2013. She has also been a long-time member of the costuming community, and has run her popular costume research and resource sites ( and for the past 14 years. Her writer website may be found here:


Athena’s Daughters is a collection of short fiction from some of the best female science fiction and fantasy authors in the industry, published by Silence in the Library Publishing. This anthology features stories written by women about women. I’m also incredibly excited to have an introduction to the anthology by retired astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander Pam Melroy. A portion of every book sold will go to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

Athena’s Daughters is a Kickstarter-funded project, which means readers like you bring it to life. Your contribution not only helps to create the book, but you can receive awesome rewards for participating. Become a part of the Athena’s Daughter’s journey by visiting

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