Dr Beth Bartlett, with her manuscript-in-progress, Life Below, is a 2023 New Voices writer. Congratulations, Beth.
Life Below is an exploration of the challenging conflict between modern motherhood and career, projected forward to a time where the conflict may become one of whether we can, or should, have children in space. The Protagonist, Anna Volkova, leans in to her space career in an attempt to move on from her painful infertility, by joining a lunar mission financed by a Swedish telecoms billionaire. During a period of isolation in Finland, she and her crew are trained, ready to join another team living at the Selene lunar base. However, a series of sinister and painful events turn Anna’s mission to make a difference to mankind in to a fight for her own flesh and blood, here on Earth.
About Beth: Beth is a mother and scientist from the West Midlands, who writes in her spare time. She felt driven to write her debut novel after watching the emotive BBC prison drama, Time. She was inspired by its raw portrayal of uncomfortable truths, and in her own work, sets out to ask difficult questions about where we may be heading as a species. Life Below explores themes of space travel, infertility, genetics, motherhood and coming to peace with death.