This book feels like a guilty pleasure to have read and enjoyed. Nancy Kress perfectly captures the ignorance, selfishness, irrational fear, and unrestrained violence that humans are capable of when confronted with the unknown. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story that so matter of factly makes use of contempt and cynicism, of the darker nature of the human spirit. It’s cold. Clinical. Brutal. And Nancy Kress makes you enjoy every minute of it.
I absolutely loved her writing. Every word feels carefully chosen for maximum impact, to sink the tendrils of the story into the very side of your soul that Kress liberally applies to all the characters. You cannot help but relate to and understand the actions of the masses as word of not only the aliens but the spore cloud become known. And why is that? Because everyday, we personally see proof of this. It’s a grim yet realistic portrayal of how the world would react, and when you read it, there’s absolutely no doubt in your mind that how she envisions it would be how it comes to pass. In my books, that takes a powerful, poignant bit of writing.
A rich, cynical story powerful as it is poignant, that makes you not only shake your head at the inevitable stupidity of humanity and even makes you feel guilty for belonging to a species that can act like this. This is the sort of story that makes you stop and rethink everything. Highly recommended.
Read the rest of Rabindranauth at Drunken Dragon Reviews.
For more info on Yesterday’s Kin, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty.