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October 10, 2023

How far would you travel for love?

Intelligent but isolated physics graduate Annie Fisk feels an undeniable pull toward space. When she lands a job as a NASA secretary during the Apollo 11 mission, she feels certain this path is her destiny. Her memories of childhood darkened by loss, she’s left behind her home, her mother, and her first love. And now she’s finally found her purpose. Even typing dictation, the work is everything she dreamed, and despite her budding attraction to one of the engineers, she can’t let herself be distracted. Not now.

So when her inability to ignore an engineer’s mistaken calculations propels her into a new position, Annie finds herself torn between her ambition, her heart, and a mysterious discovery that upends everything she knows to be scientifically true. Can she overcome her fears and reach toward the limits of human advancement? Will she chase her ambitions, and risk losing herself in them? Affectingly achronological in its telling, Shoot the Moon daringly explores one woman’s quest for both intellectual fulfillment and romantic love, the price paid for scientific progress, and the heart’s persistent yearning for home.


“A one-of-a-kind journey through space, time and history, SHOOT THE MOON is part historical fiction centered around NASA’s journey to the moon and part speculative fiction concerning an anomaly in the universe that allows objects to travel to the recent past and back. Utterly original, pulse-pounding, braced by science, and overflowing with love in its purest form, Isa Arsén’s debut novel is spectacular.”

— Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Daughter

“A romantic and dazzling journey into the mystery of time, space, grief and loneliness. Arsén’s knowledge of mathematics and physics is truly impressive, and brings authenticity to the world of exploration she has captured. A lovely debut.”

— Charlotte McConaghy, author of Migrations and Once There Were Wolves

“A stunning, intimate tale of emotional and intellectual courage, the bravery it takes to face the unknown—especially in our own hearts. Daring, intelligent and wonderfully detailed, SHOOT THE MOON is the space race novel I didn't even know I was looking for!”

— Claudia Cravens, author of Lucky Red

“A deep, bold, and crackling smart debut. In the vein of HIDDEN FIGURES and THE GLASS UNIVERSE, SHOOT THE MOON is a complex speculative literary novel imbued with physics and math, but also love and loss and trauma. Arsén will break your heart and light all of the neural pathways of your brain on fire.”

— Yume Kitasei, author of The Deep Sky

“Part historical fiction, part science fiction, part moving love story, Isa Arsén's SHOOT THE MOON will surprise you at every turn. Prepare yourself: SHOOT THE MOON is a book like no other.”

— Jennie Fields, author of Atomic Love

“A uniquely tender and beautiful book. Arsén has given us a nuanced time-twisting debut. Taking place in the era between the atomic bomb and the moon landing, SHOOT THE MOON is a novel of wonder and in-betweens that asks us to consider grief, hope, love, and ambition in equal measure.”

— Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation and Light from Other Stars

“In prose precise as a lucid dream, Isa Arsén leads us through the empty spaces of the atmosphere and the heart, and offers a loving geometry of the ways we find our place in both.”

— Kathe Koja, author of Dark Factory and The Cipher

Arsén lures us in with science, keeps us guessing, and surprises us at every turn. And like the moon in the title, the story circles round to a completion we couldn't have seen until it appeared, full and shining.

— Virginia Hartman, author of The Marsh Queen

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