After the fall of humanity, a teenager, Pete, leads the survivors back into the past to steal healthy children in order to preserve the human race. That is only one part of Nancy Kress’s new novel, described by the publisher as an eco-thriller/adventure/time-travel mystery.
As long as we’re talking science fiction, let’s celebrate Saturday’s announcement of the 2012 Hugo Awards nominations (for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy). The nominations for Best Novel include a few of last year’s favorites here on AB4T:
Four out of five with teen appeal! Winners will be announced on September 2nd.
Adult/High School–This isn’t the usual post-environmental apocalypse/alien invasion survival book. “Before the Fall” stars Julie Kahn, a mathematician helping the FBI solve a possible series of child snatchings and robberies; “possible” because these events are so random that it’s not clear that there is a connection. “During the Fall” is about mutation, how a random act of natural change can, under the right circumstances, have deadly consequences for some while in others it can have no effect at all. “After the Fall” is the story of Pete, born in 2035 to the survivors of what is assumed to be the destruction of the world by an alien race. The aliens have created the Shell, a vast building with few amenities, to shelter the few survivors and their unfortunately genetically maimed offspring. One day, a portal to the past opens and the survivors decide to increase their odds of repopulating the world and resisting the aliens by kidnapping healthy children from 2013 and stealing goods (the portal opens and shuts at seemingly random times, forcing those in the Shell to monitor it continuously). The three stories tie together at the end, when it is clear that nothing could have been done to save the world from the Earth’s own mutations and geologic weirdness. Readers of science fiction and those interested in environmental issues will question the current wisdom about our environment and climate science, as well as how much effect humans may–or may not–have on the future.–Laura Pearle, Venn Consultants, Carmel, NY