Sunday, March 15, 2015

Yesterday's Kin - by Nancy Kress - Intriguing SF which takes some interesting turns

4 of 5 Stars     Review copy

A quick comment on the cover art by Thomas Canty.  Eye-catching and a nice blending of the extra-terrestrial and DNA themes of the story.  This would make me pick up the book and at least see what it's about.  Kudos.

Nancy Kress is a well-respected and prolific SF novelist with more than 30 published novels to her credit.  Her latest work, Yesterday's Kin, was published last September.  It's a relatively short piece, coming in at a bit under 200 pages.

Yesterday's Kin tells the story of the Deneb, visitors from another galaxy, but there's a twist.  The visitors aren't exactly aliens.  Their stated mission is peaceful, they're here to warn us of a "spore cloud" with an Earth trajectory,which could unleash a virus that could decimate the world's population.

A lab is set up at their Embassy in New York Harbor in a race against time in a joint effort to find a vaccine to protect humans from extinction.

But there is so much more to this multi-layered story.  I particularly liked the writer's handling of the public's reaction to the space travelers and their stated purpose.  In many ways it's the same way we react to change in the 21st century.  I couldn't help but think about how divided we are over the Affordable Healthcare Act and how much of a panic there was over the Ebola threat.  Take that and multiply it to a global scale.

As much as the story is about visitors from another world and the horrors of global annihilation, it's mostly about family connections

Overall, I found Yesterday's Kin to be an enjoyable read.  True, not everything made perfect sense, but much of what I read for enjoyment makes no sense at all.  I can certainly suspend my disbelief long enough to allow for a few leaps in logic.

Available now from Tachyon Publications and the usual online retailers, Yesterday's Kin can be purchased in paperback and all of the popular e-reader formats.


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