Tomorrow's Kin by Nancy Kress
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tomorrow's Kin is a solid, interesting first contact novel. As someone who generally really responds well to any first contact novel, to enjoy one a little more than the rest is not a bad thing in the least, and I would say that's where I place Tomorrow's Kin.
The premise is pretty straightforward, where some aliens land on Earth and, once communication is established, we learn about where they are from and why they are here. The results of all this information inform a story that becomes less about "what is it like knowing there's other life" and more about coping with the aftermath, both of meeting an alien race (and all that implies in this book's conceit) and of what the aliens came to accomplish. It's a unique and different take on the genre, and one I appreciated greatly.
The big downfall of this book? Approximately the first third is basically (if not entirely) a reprint of the novella that preceded it, Yesterday's Kin. I somewhat wish someone had warned me of this ahead of time, as I worked to complete the novella before diving into this only to find that I was basically rereading the novella immediately afterwards. If there were additions, they did not make a measurable impact on the overall story for me, so use this as a takeaway if you're already familiar with the novella. For new readers, though, you can dive right in without issue. Absolutely a great read and solid take on the subgenre.
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