Yesterday's Kin - Nancy Kress

Yesterday's Kin

By: Nancy Kress

Paperback | 9 September 2014

At a Glance

Paperback


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Aliens have landed in New York.

A deadly cloud of spores has already infected and killed the inhabitants of two worlds. Now that plague is heading for Earth, and threatens humans and aliens alike. Can either species be trusted to find the cure?

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is immersed in the desperate race to save humanity, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Siblings Elizabeth and Ryan are strident isolationists who agree only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Marianne's youngest, Noah, is a loner addicted to a drug that constantly changes his identity. But between the four Jenners, the course of human history will be forever altered.

Earth's most elite scientists have ten months to prevent human extinction?and not everyone is willing to wait.
Industry Reviews
2014 Nebula Award Winner 2014 Locus Award Winner "Aliens arrive and set up a research station in New York, offering their friendship and aid. There's a cloud of spores heading for Earth, and the aliens (dubbed Denebs despite coming from another star entirely) have firsthand experience dealing with it. In exchange for the technology that made their interstellar travel possible, the aliens want human help in curing the plague caused by the spores that have already destroyed two of their own colony worlds. Geneticist Marianne Jenner is one of the scientists who have been asked aboard the alien station, but even among her own family there is a difference of opinion about whether these extraterrestrials can be trusted. Verdict: Kress has proven that she can pack a huge amount of story into a small container (as with 2013's title After the Fall Before the Fall, During the Fall), and here the author expertly explores one family's experience of alien visitation." --Library Journal "In the middle of receiving accolades for her work discovering that all humans are descended from a common female ancestor, Marianne is yanked away by the government. She's one of a handful of scientists who have been issued a special invitation to venture inside the alien spaceship. While turmoil rages around the globe about how to deal with the aliens, inside the spaceship, the visitors bring news of a far greater threat to human existence. Their intentions are unclear, but one thing is certain: They have a disturbing interest in Marianne's work. Kress (After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, 2012, etc.) spins an eminently readable tale revolving around Marianne and her children: Elizabeth, the suspicious border patrol agent; Ryan, the charming botanist who studies invasive species; and Noah, the lovable drug addict who can't figure out who he is. Each of them has a very different idea about what it will take to save humanity, but while the family and the rest of the world are embroiled in arguments, the clock keeps ticking. Kress keeps her science understandable and her plot complex, rounding everything out with a healthy dose of practical philosophy delivered in clear, precise language. While the story zooms along at breakneck speed, Kress skimps on character development and buildup. As a result, events seem to explode out of nowhere rather than unfolding organically, and eventually they stop packing an emotional punch. Even though the book would benefit from another hundred pages, more is at stake than an entertaining read. The political turmoil created by Kress' aliens is a warning for the reader to pay more attention to how modern-day conflicts are handled. "Science-fiction fans will luxuriate in the dystopian madness, while even nonfans will find an artful critique of humanity's ability to cooperate in the face of a greater threat." --Kirkus "Nancy Kress has always written stories as accessible to the novice as to the seasoned fan, and "Yesterday's Kin" gets my vote as this summer's most inviting introduction to science fiction for new readers." --Gary K. Wolfe, Chicago Tribune "Nancy Kress delivers one of the strongest stories of the year to date... As with all of Kress's work, this is very nicely crafted, with well-paced prose that carries you through the story, complex human characters, a compelling and conflict-driven human story, a clever twist partway through, and an even cleverer twist at the end." --Gardner Dozois, editor of The Year's Best Science Fiction series " clear prose and deft strokes of character" --Locus "Kress combines intriguing scientific speculation with strong human drama to create a finely crafted story that should appeal to a wide range of readers" --Asimov's Science Fiction A Fantasy Cafe Best Book of 2014 "Yesterday's Kin is a wonderful example of why Nancy Kress is such an acclaimed science fiction author. It's hard science fiction with a big focus on scientific research and discovery but it's never bogged down by explanation, remaining equally focused on the characters and story. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down!" --Fantasy Cafe "Sparely constructed and cleverly resolved, "Yesterday's Kin" provides everything readers need for an immersive plunge into a frightening, fascinating and inescapable predicament." --Seattle Times "Yesterday's Kin is a fabulous look at first contact through the eyes of a family. Like all of Nancy's work, the characterization and the science is impeccable, and the story so well done that I was sad when it was over. Nancy delivers a complete package, and shows her chops as one of our best modern science fiction writers." --Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of the Ruby's Song series "In short, Yesterday's Kin was a joy to read. Not only was the prose easily digested, but the scientific speculation and facts behind the story really helped in raising enjoyment. A thoroughly recommended novel." --SFF World "Yesterday's Kin is a beautiful blend of science and drama." --Bibliophilic "... fascinating, intelligent and intuitive... Yesterday's Kin is highly recommended. --Nerds in Babeland "...fresh and interesting...well worth the read..." --Internet Book Review "It's not a horror story, or a western, or a war story dressed in space clothes, but proper full-blooded science fiction, and I loved it. I get the feeling that I will be reading many more books by Nancy Kress." --Theaker's Quarterly Fiction "...a cool science fictional premise (along with a lot of genetic science) in the process. The ending has the dual benefit of being one that is (mostly) unexpected and wholly satisfying." --SF Signal

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