cover image Tomorrow’s Kin: Yesterday’s Kin, Book 1

Tomorrow’s Kin: Yesterday’s Kin, Book 1

Nancy Kress. Tor, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9029-5

Science fiction doyenne Kress expands her 2014 Nebula Award–winning novella, Yesterday’s Kin, into this sharply observant family drama that, in the best traditions of SF, functions as entertainment, education, and social commentary. The alien Denebs have come to Earth to warn about an interstellar virus. Dr. Marianne Jenner, an evolutionary biologist, discovers that some humans are related to the aliens. Naturally, they wish to meet their Terran relations. Relocated to the alien floating base in New York Harbor, Marianne joins the effort to find a cure for the virus before it reaches Earth, while her three children react to her collaboration: Elizabeth, a Border Patrol agent, wants the alien energy shield tech; Ryan, a wildlife conservationist, sees the aliens as an invasive species; and knockabout Noah finds himself strangely at home with the Denebs. Some humans seek further contact, while others want vengeance for changes blamed on the Denebs. Kress mixes contemporary issues of isolationism and refugee status with classic SF first-contact tropes, threaded neatly with solid scientific theory and speculation, but she always keeps Marianne and her family at the center of events without making the characters or their decisions too obvious or too noble. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary. (July)