Girl in Space by Sarah Rhea Werner

Abandoned on a dying ship in the farthest reaches of known space, a young scientist fights for survival (and patience with the on-board A.I.). Who is she? No one knows. But a lot of dangerous entities really want to find out.

Listen biweekly as the story unfolds for science, guns, trust, anti-matter, truth, beauty, inner turmoil, and delicious cheeses.

It’s all here. In space.

Occasionally I stumble upon a story that contains everything I love: engaging characters, a compelling plot, and a world that slowly pulls back the curtain to reveal something incredible.

Girl in Space is a perfect example of this.

The story reminds me of Andy Weir’s The Martian, featuring a witty protagonist that stays true to character even when things go to shit. Just swap the swearing with geeky Jurassic park and coffee references and you have a pretty good idea of the main character.

Things start small in scale, but that changes so quickly it’s almost a fake out. From the blurb in my podcast app:

Nothing fancy here—just the audio diary of a girl in space. Also, there’s this weird and potentially ominous light that seems to be growing steadily closer.

It’s an accurate description of the first episode, but doesn’t capture the full story.

The audio diary angle was a fun one and gave an in-universe reason for the audio. That alone would have been great, but the narrator’s recording of the world around her factored into the world around her. Sometimes she dropped the recorder and sometimes another character learning she was recording them caused conflict.

Even when things expand to reveal complex backstories and a really freaking cool world, the plot retains a tight focus. It still centers around the titular girl in space, and she mostly stays on the same ship for the entire story. In the hands of a less talented storyteller, this could have been boring.

This was anything but boring.

The humor (so much humor, all the humor) was lovely and the relentless optimism was something I rarely see in a protagonist these days. I laughed out loud on multiple occasions, and sometimes a dramatic moment would result in a brilliant punch line.

With all the focus on the dark and gritty in the last decade, it was refreshing to listen to something that could handle weighty plot points with a smile and a timely Jursassic Park reference.

Actually, come to think of it, several of the plot points mirrored iconic scenes from Jurassic Park. These subtle nods were a lot of fun, too.

As with any audio drama, sound quality is key. Girl in Space did not disappoint. In fact, I think the intro and outro soundtracks are my favorite of any audio drama I’ve listened to so far. They’re still stuck in my head while writing this review.


Girl in Space is a free audio drama. You can learn more at the official website or check out the short trailer right now:

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