Everyday life is a complicated thing, and with his finely nuanced novel CHALLENGER PARK, Austinite (and Texas Monthly contributing editor) STEPHEN HARRIGAN makes it clear that the glamour boys and girls of NASA don’t handle the slings and arrows any better than the rest of us. Case in point: Lucy Kincheloe—astronaut, mother of two, and wife of a (quite temperamental) fellow space jockey. When Lucy finally gets a shuttle assignment, she finds herself fretting over the more-than-collegial attentions of team leader Walt Womack. There’s barely time for an awkward encounter before she’s blasted into orbit—a competent pro but with nerve ends now exposed like frayed wires. Challenger Park is epic in scope but human in scale, a tale of grand adventure packed with individual emotions. This is incomparable twenty-first-century fiction from one of Texas’s great authors.