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Sea Change

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Renata Black is entertained by the traffic snarl caused by a rogue self-driving house--until she spots the Org's Tiffany Teal paint marking the house's windowsill.

In 2022, GMOs were banned after a biopharmed drug caused the Catastrophe: worldwide economic collapse, agricultural standstill, and personal tragedy for a lawyer and her son. Ten years later, Renata, a.k.a. Carol
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 22nd 2020 by Tachyon Publications
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  224 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, novella, sci-fi
Surprisingly, for all my years in sci-fi, I've never read Nancy Kress. I think it has often been a subject/person (me) mismatch, so when Tachyon Publications had a review copy up of Sea Change, a novella that focused on current issues in the environment, I jumped at the chance to give her a try. Expecting sci-fi, this has a strong speculative fiction feel looking at genetically modified foods.

The blurb promises "a smart, mesmerizing bio-thriller, with a hard, nuanced look at the perils and promi
'It isn’t the past that creates the future. It’s how you interpret the past.'

I think that climate fiction is one of the most difficult SF sub-genres for any writer to tackle convincingly. At the moment we seem to be in a ‘frog being slowly boiled alive’ scenario. Hence CliFi invariably has to be apocalyptic by nature to grab the jaded reader’s attention. Of course, then it runs the risk of being disconnected from the prevailing reality, so that any message about the need for urgency and individu
This is a fairly engaging tale of an underground group of scientists and helpers who secretly work to develop genetic engineering solutions to enhance global food crops to address starvation in the developing world. It is 2032, and already global warming has led to widespread desertification, much human and economic devastation from rising seas, and large ocean blooms of toxin producing algae. In the past, agribusiness had focused GMO work more on profit-making than improving the food supply, an ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Three and half stars.

I receive this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review, so here we go:

Sea Change in one phrase: In a near future, Renata Black is an illegal activist who fights for her cause despite her own personal circumstances.

I could seem that the author’s personal life is involved in the story. Well, all the authors do this to a greater or lesser degree. In this novel -narrated in first person- you can notice this in the personal issues dealt: divorce, the loss of the loved
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kress’s near-future climate thriller follows Renata Black, mild-mannered Seattle paralegal who is also Caroline Denton, undercover eco-terrorist. The “terror” that Caroline and her compatriots are attempting to inflict on the masses involves growing genetically-modified crops to help mitigate the world’s food crisis (in this speculative 2032, GMOs have been outlawed after big agriculture’s profiteering led to a deadly toxin in children’s medicine). Caroline/Renata discovers there may be a mole i ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, women-2020
This novella, offered to me as an ARC from Net Galley, by one of my favorite authors is smart and tightly written. The world she builds is our world -or one soon to be. She uses real science and expects the reader to grasp some fundamentals of the biology of agriculture as well as the politics behind who grows the food and for whom. Maybe that doesn’t sound exciting but the story is compelling and moves quickly. And it makes me want to thank all dedicated activists who work to feed the hungry wo ...more
The Captain
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi novella eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

One of the things I have come to appreciate about Nancy Kress’ work is that it always be thought provoking. The concepts are interesting and led to some fun conversations with me First Mate. As a conversation starter, I really enjoyed it. As an entertainment it wasn’t so effective.

Though the title is sea change, the real issue behind this novella is GMO cro
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
My only previous experience reading the author was with her short story collection Fountain of Age, which had led me to expect smart literary science fiction with well developed greyhaired characters of a certain age and maturity level. To be fair, Sea Change was very much along those lines. A novel of climate themed science fiction, a subgenre very popular now in the way the good science fiction has always mirrored the world around it, offering occasionally all too prescient scenarios, to educa ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was my first novel by Nancy kress though I heard the name in some recommendations. I had quite bigexpectations to this one, but unfortuately I didn't much like the novel. While the whole concept of a book is great, for such a short story it was too much tell and too little show for me. First few chapter are most a lot of information throwing at us with not much happening. And there were flashbacks chapters that could be reduced to lesser amount in my opinion.

I expected something fast-paced wi
Dan Trefethen
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
“It turns out that it takes only a few months to destroy an entire national economy”.

Doesn't that sound familiar? This sentence in the middle of this novella is very timely, although the cause was different than the virus we are struggling with today. But not that different – it's still a very tiny object that's the cause of it all.

This is a smart, savvy techno-thriller about a near future (2032) when an agribusiness's use of a genetically-modified organism (GMO) turns deadly, turning American s
Angie Boyter
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
A big story in a small package!
In 2022 a popular antidiarrheal drug made from genetically modified plants causes the death of over a hundred children. Publicity from the event provokes extreme reaction against genetically modified food and similar research and development and brings about The Catastrophe, a world-wide economic and agricultural disaster provoked by anti-science sentiment. Ten years later idealistic Renata (aka Caroline) works in an underground resistance group known as the Org, “
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: Sea Change
Author: Nancy Kress
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: April 24, 2020
Review Date: December 28, 2019

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb:
“Operative Renata Black has a serious problem―a self-driving house causing a traffic snarl. When Renata spots the Org’s Tiffany Teal paint marking a windowsill, she discovers a dangerous mystery within the house itself.

In 2022, GMOs were banned after a bio-pharmed
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, novella

It turns out that it takes only a few months to destroy an entire national economy and to see companies too big to fail go into bankruptcy. In Sea Change Kress touches on a lot of controversial topics, including GMOs, cybersecurity, or social order. Despite its short length, the novella contains powerful ideas, well-researched data, and avoids giving easy answers.

It made me think. And feel stuff. A good thing for sure. 

That being said, Sea Change is actually an amalgam of three narratives -
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.8 / 5 ✪

The year is 2032. A decade earlier, an event known as the Catastrophe rocked the world. A biopharmed drug—something—caused several the deaths of several children and fanned the flames of resentment already burning against genetically modified foods. In the fallout from the poisoning, protests rage, concluding in GMOs being banned. Ten years later, global warming is no longer debatable. Sea levels have risen, drought and famine rocked the globe, te
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Let's start with this - I have been a huge Nancy Kress fan ever since I first read Beggars in Spain, years ago. And this book did not disappoint.

Like her other books, there's science involved - I'm not a science person, but it's clearly enough written that I get what she's explaining. Hey, makes me feel smart! Her characters, as usual, are interesting and well developed - even minor characters in the book feel
May 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
I did not love Sea Change, and I felt incredibly guilty for that for several days. Usually I love anything by Nancy Kress, so it took me awhile to come up with the courage to write this review. But it’s one miss out of dozens of novels for this author. The writing was quality work, exactly what I would expect from Nancy Kress. It was the story, the actual plot, that I felt was lacking. It’s as if a lot more thought went into the agenda behind the story (promoting GMO’s) than into creating the st ...more
Jamie Jones Hullinger
I will round up to a 3.5. It was refreshing to read some sci fi. There are elements I really liked. Those parts were very believable. However I could not get past the timeline. It's 2035 and we have robots serving as security, flight attendants and drivable houses (legitimate houses on wheels not RVs). That's roughly a decade after the publication date. That was not believable. Plus those factors were not really important to the plot. They were not necessary. ...more
I really enjoyed this novella about genetic engineering and eco-terrorism. I hadn't come across this author before, but I discovered that she has been writing science fiction very successfully for many years. I hunted out some of her older books and really enjoyed reading them.

This little novella was really very good. It is well written. The plot is good and well paced. The characters are real and well rounded. All in all, it was a superb novella and I would recommend it to anyone.

Thank you to n
Alexander Tas
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Read this Read this review and other Science Fiction/Fantasy reviews at The Quill To Live

Nancy Kress has been on my to-read list for a while. She has a weight to her name, especially when it comes to her treatment of genetics and bio-engineering. I have not made my way to her earlier works yet, but I was presented with an opportunity to read Sea Change, and I decided that something new could be a good entry point. Sea Change is a short read with overt themes, forcing readers to ponder the use of
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked this up after seeing the author speak at a virtual convention. It intrigued me, because it is hard science fiction about a field in which I used to work: plant genetic engineering. Upon reading it, I find even more connections to my old life--one of the key goals mentioned many times in the text is engineering plants for disease resistance without agrochemicals, and that had been my goal for ten years of my life. (I soon learned a whole lot of basic science needed doing first, and I had ...more
David Harris
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm grateful to Tachyon for providing me with an advance e-copy of Sea Change.

In a near-future USA, beset by economic difficulties and climate collapse, Renata is an agent for a mysterious opposition group, the Org. Seeing the Org's identification mark - a particular shade of paint - on a vehicle, she steps in to handle what may be a major breach in security.

The fact that the "vehicle" is a self-propelled GPS guided house makes the opening sentence ('The house was clearly lost') one of the weird
Belinda  Witzenhausen
***3.5 Stars rounded up***
I received a complimentary ARC copy Sea Change by Nancy Kress from NetGalley & Tachyon Publications in order to read and give an honest review.

To give the author credit, the book is well-written, clever and the author does write realistic, multifaceted and mature characters ...

This was the first work of fiction I have read from Nancy Kress. In the past I had read her non-fiction books on writing as part of a workshop I had taken and really enjoyed them.  I was really lo
Matthew Lloyd
In the very near future, the United States experiences a catastrophe that utterly changes their approach to food production. In the aftermath, GMOs are banned, and the US becomes critically unprepared for the changing climate. Ten years later Renata Black, AKA Caroline Denton, is a member of the Org, a group dedicated to continuing genetic modification research outside the bonds of agribusiness, focused on the well-being of all humans, preventing starvation, not making money. But growing genetic ...more
Hannah Bennett
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sea Change, a forthcoming novella by acclaimed writer Nancy Kress, is everything I love about speculative fiction. The story has a compelling near-future setting, is full of smart characters with sharply written dialogue, and is so thematically rich and progressive. It’s character driven, scarily close to reality, and covers topics often overlooked by other media.

Kress’s Sea Change centers on our world following devastation caused, primarily, by climate change, It's set in the 2030s in America a
Apr 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book is perfectly fine. It's well written, the characters are well delineated and evolve just the way they should, and it's got a serviceable ending.
This is a science fiction book. I have real trouble with suspending credibility in many of the books Nancy Kress has written. Beggars in Spain, for instance. People stop needing sleep and, of course, they work and think all day and they become super rich. Are you kidding me? Most people would be super grumpy and tired and snoozing all d
Mar 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novellas
I loved this. The prose is readable and engaging. The world is a near future that is fascinating. The main character is a complex middle aged woman. It talks about the dangers of completely vilifying GMOs.

The narrative skips back and forth in the main character's life. This writing technique isn't always successful, but I felt that it was in this story. It wasn't jarring or irritating to skip around.

I really loved that the main character was a middle aged woman. Reading stories about older (tha
3 1/2 Stars. Thank you to Edelweiss and Tachyon Publishing for the free review copy of this novella!

Synopsis: Renata Black may not be an imminently likable character, but she is a well-developed one, and every single one of her actions is in line with her life experiences and beliefs. (view spoiler)
Maurynne  Maxwell
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sea Change is a fast, exciting read that highlights climate change instead of pandemic as its apocalypse generator. In 2022, GMOs were banned. A biopharmaceutical caused the Catastrophe: worldwide economic and agricultural collapse, and personal tragedy for lawyer Caroline Denton and her son. Ten years later, reinvented as Renata Black, she is living in Seattle and a member of the Org, an underground group of scientists hunted by the feds. But the Org’s illegal food-research might just hold the ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The tragedy of both blurbs and reviews, as I'm sure I've whined before, is that they get rid of the fun parts of starting a book and figuring out what's going on. This is more true of science fiction than other genres, where your first order of business is often to see where the world in the book diverges from the one you're in and how that happened.

Set in the very near future, after a meltdown known at the Catasrophe, Nancy Kress's excellent new novella is no exception. It starts with the main
Carla Estruch
This was an interesting read. I was hooked since the beginning, because of the intensity of the events, but I had some issues with the rhythm of the story. It is not a face-paced book, as all the action takes place at the end, but I read it quickly, since the main character, Renata Black, is well developed and suitable for this story.
Nancy Kress presents here an almost immediate future where GMO are forbidden in the USA and Europe. Org, a secret organization that studies and develops GMO in orde
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Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clar ...more

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