When I saw that an advanced reader's copy of Nancy Kress's new novella, Yesterday's Kin was available at NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read and
When I saw that an advanced reader's copy of Nancy Kress's new novella, Yesterday's Kin was available at NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I tend to avoid shorter works, but I will make an exception when the author is one whose previous works I've enjoyed. Nancy Kress is one of those authors.
Yesterday's Kin begins shortly after humanity's first encounter with aliens whom humans have dubbed “Denebs”. They have arrived, contacted world leaders through the U.N. and set up an embassy in the harbor near the UN building. But that's it. They hold conversations with humans through the U.N. and offer friendship and aid, but have not allowed any visual or in-person contact. Then, Marianne Jenner publishes a paper describing the discovery of a mitochondrial haplogroup in the humam genome. Shortly thereafter, the aliens invite her to visit their embassy. While there, they disclose that Earth will shortly pass through a cloud of spores carrying a virus deadly to humans as well as the aliens—proposing that humans collaborate with them to develop a cure.
All-in-all, this is an well-written story which has given me a lot to think about. I have to say that I enjoyed this book, but it left me wanting more. I would have liked to know more about the aliens and more about Marianne's children who play important roles throughout the story. Should Kress decide to expand the book to a full-length novel, I'd love to read it. Or, if there are more stories to be told about the Denebs themselves and the possible continued interactions between humans and Denebs, that might satisfy me. Are you listening, Ms. Kress?
By the way, the author has blogged at SF Signal about her fascination with genetic engineering and why she writes about it.
Ana Delgado Briones, Anita to family and friends, married a charming maharaja. Almost overnight she was transformed from a cabaret performer to a queeAna Delgado Briones, Anita to family and friends, married a charming maharaja. Almost overnight she was transformed from a cabaret performer to a queen of a remote Indian kingdom in the Punjab. Javier Moro tells her story, based on actual events, transporting the reader to the India of the Maharajas. Along the way, he shows the conflict between traditions centuries old and the lure of European lifestyles. The story of Anita and the maharaja of Kapurthala is not just a love story, but also one that shows the clash of cultures, especially the growing tension between the British and the Indian Maharajas.
Right there on the cover it says “A Novel”, but this book has the feel of a scholarly text, complete with footnotes. The author has delivered an appealing work, combining information from a number of historical sources including Anita's own diaries to tell the story of a teen-aged girl who fell in love with a king, only to discover that her life as a queen turns out quite differently from her day dreams.
Ultimately this is an impressive story about the end of an era in Indian history. For the first time, I had been shown the withdrawal of the British from India through the eyes of a ruler of an Indian state. I heartily recommend this book to readers who are interested in the human side of world events. ...more