Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sea Change” as Want to Read:
Sea Change
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sea Change

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  36 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sea Change, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sea Change

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  36 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sea Change
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, novella, arc
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
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
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
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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
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, “
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
Carla B.  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
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
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
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
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)
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
Heather Jones
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Tachyon Publications for giving me a free digital galley of this book in exchange for feedback.

Not long ago, I was irritated by a book I'd read, which had a very self-consciously literary writing style but a tedious plot about awful people and their boring emotions. And I thought to myself, I DO think that good writing is important, but what I really like is well-written sentences by someone who, instead of focusing on how pretty their sentences are, is focusing on a strong, charact
Elley Murray
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
CW: Death of a child

I work for an agricultural cooperative where there's a lot of discourse about GMOs and feeding a growing population with shrinking resources, so when I read the blurb for this book I was intrigued. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I love the sci-fi/speculative fic meets dystopia a little bit of mystery in this novella. For a shorter book (192 pages) it was really involved with a complex main character, an intricate plot, and astounding world-building. The world N
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for an electronic copy of this novella in pre-publication.

A very interesting and detailed eco-novella, with deep research and plotting. When genetically modified agriculture is banned in the US, following a cross-contamination event that leads to the deaths of hundreds of children, an economic and societal Catastrophe ensues. Agribusinesses fail, but so do low-income societies around the wold that depend on GMO crops for basic subsistence. And there’s the twist: when GMOs ar
Deborah Ross
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The premise in Nancy Kress’s latest novel is chillingly topical: genetically modified organisms, run amok under the control of greedy corporations, almost devastate civilization. In the aftermath, people in undeveloped countries starve. Special police root out any effort at developing crops that might save them. An underground of scientists and their helpers, split into very small groups to avoid large-scale investigation, slowly begins creating new varieties of food crops and other organisms to ...more
Robert Sullivan
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting study of how climate change might intersect a disaster in the food supply brought on by corporate hubris and political overreaction. Throw in a "terrorist" group, to which our hero belongs, a side serving of #metoo, a Hollywood movie star, and the death of a child; there's a lot going on in a short book.

But Kress makes it all work. She writes well; her characters are humans and not stereotypes; her science seems to be grounded (as best I can tell); and there is enough acti
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, _sci-fi
Thank you Tachyon and NetGalley for an eARC of Sea Change by Nancy Kress. This book is not what I expected. It opens in twenty years into the future with a broken down autonomous house, doubles back to the past to layer in history, steps forward to the present to weave in perspective, and then nudges slightly into the future to add the backstory of hysteria brought about misplaced blame on GMOs. Renata tells the story as she works for a secret organization to bring back GMOs to feed the global h ...more
Sercalunna Pautasso
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting and engrossing book that I liked. The author did a great job at delivering a plot that keeps you hooked and great characters.
I recommend it.
I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review
Joe Karpierz
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sea Change" is something a little different, yet much the same and familiar, from Nancy Kress. The new novella, in addition to being smart science fiction is also something of a thriller. It also heavily relates to our times and our society, and gives the reader a scary look into what could be in store for not only our nation but the world in the very near future.

The subject is GMO crops. Carol Denton is an agent in the Org, a group of clandestine scientists organized into cells - you know the
Harrison Schweiloch
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nancy Kress is a master of short form storytelling.

I first (re)discovered Nancy Kress a few years ago when I was in an reading dry spell. I was listlessly perusing the library shelves feeling like I had nothing to read when I came across a copy of her then-just published novella After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall. I recognized her name from having read Beggars in Spain years before so I picked it up.

It blew me away. The book was a masterpiece. The author created a fully realized
Margaret Schoen
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a review of an ARC from Edelweiss.

In the near future, genetically modified crops accidentally lead to a series of deaths, the world rebels against GMOs, which then leads to a revamping of the economy and a global depression. Years later, a group of scientists and rebels is secretly working to renew research on GMOs, hoping that this time, science can be used to help feed the world's hungry and cope with a changing climate, instead of being used for profit.

This novella is kind of all over
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Refreshing to see a near-future climate SF book where GMOs are the heroes and even, once separated from agribusiness, the underdog.

There’s a particular type of novel I want to call the “wait, was this actually a novella?” book, where for whatever reason I’m thrown or underwhelmed by the ending, which ends up feeling incommensurate somehow to the threads of plot and character being woven.

Sea Change did that to me, which makes me think it’s probably my fault as a reader. I liked that the protago
Ralph Blackburn
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sea Change by Nancy Kress- In a world where all forms of GMO food production are outlawed and people are starving, Caroline Denton- not her real name- strives to return her country and the world back to a planned, human approach to scientific food production rather than the excesses and misfortunes of agri-business, for profit, mishandling. To do this, she is part of a network of people dedicated to this cause, who must work their magic while being branded terrorists by their own government. A g ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shorefall (Founders, #2)
  • The Last Human
  • Made to Order: Robots and Revolution
  • Sixteenth Watch
  • Goldilocks
  • Providence
  • The Best of Elizabeth Bear
  • The Last Emperox (The Interdependency, #3)
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories
  • The Four Profound Weaves
  • Firewalkers
  • The New Voices of Science Fiction
  • Unexpected Stories
  • Prosper's Demon
  • A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)
  • The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite
  • Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor: Revenge Fantasies and Essays
  • Repo Virtual
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

So many aspects of life and leisure have changed. This is true. It’s also true that we need to take care of ourselves, collectively and i...
204 likes · 114 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »