Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Terran Tomorrow"

Nancy Kress's many books include over two dozen novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won six Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Kress’s work has been translated into two dozen languages, including Klingon, none of which she can read.

Kress applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Terran Tomorrow: Book 3 of the Yesterday's Kin Trilogy, and reported the following:
Page 69 is all talk. The talk, like all talk other than ‘Watch out! There’s a bear behind you!” is pretty static. Two people—three after Major Elizabeth Duncan enters the room—just sit there on page 69, exchanging information. Not all the information is verbal. It’s clear (at least I hope it’s clear) that Colonel Jenner is attracted to Jane; that Jane is quick and observant at learning the culture on this planet utterly foreign to her; that Duncan is reserved and gives little away; that another of the alien visitors is already resisting Earth (Jane: “He should choose a Terran name.” Jenner: “But I see from your face that he will not.”)

All this will become important later in the book. Seeds are being planted. Foreshadowing is sneaking in. But it’s still just talk, and so the next scene contains action. Too many talky scenes in a row can feel too quiet, prompting the reader to think: Come on! Get on with it, already!

Which Terran Tomorrow does. A group of Terrans have returned from the alien planet World, where they spent book 2 of my trilogy (If Tomorrow Comes), bringing with them a handful of Worlders. They find a United States vastly different from the one they left: devastated by a pandemic carried by sparrows, torn by civil war, divided by ideological differences on how to rebuild. With courage and anger and science and murder, they set out to do that.

And also to talk.
Visit Nancy Kress's website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

The Page 69 Test: Tomorrow's Kin.

The Page 69 Test: If Tomorrow Comes.

--Marshal Zeringue