The first pleasant surprise in local sci-fi writer Nancy Kress’s novelYesterday’s Kin is that it’s a first contact novel that doesn’t waste much time on the first moment of contact between an alien civilization and humanity. At the start of the book, the aliens are there; they’ve landed on Earth and they’ve made a base in the Atlantic Ocean just outside of New York. Kress understands that the interesting thing isn’t the kind of ship they came here with, or the technology they used to get here; what’s important about the aliens in a book like this is what they want from us.
The novel is a family affair, but not in the overwrought faux-Spielberg style of Interstellar; Kress is excellent at keeping excessive sentimentality out of the story.
I don’t want to give too much of Yesterday’s Kin away; its pleasure is in its plot. Kress’s primary interests of genetics and the end of the world are both involved, and the aliens are sufficiently alien, which is an important factor in a book like this.
Read the rest of Constant’s review at Slog.
For more info on Yesterday’s Kin, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty.