I read Michael P. Kube-McDowell's Emprise years ago, but somehow managed to lose my copy of the book. Originally published as a mass market paperback, ibooks has printed a trade paperback edition which I picked up at the U bookstore last month. The short version of the story is it is a post-apocalyptic tale of first contact with aliens. Or, more appropriately, the preparations for first contact. Actual contact doesn't happen until the last chapter of the book. This is more appropriately the tale of how earth readies itself from a state of revulsion for all things scientific (why post-apocalyptic people always seem to disdain science is beyond me) into something ready to meet aliens. Partially a tale of political intrigue and partially a tale of science (fiction) reborn. It's a decent story, but if stories such as Brin's Postman or King's The Stand don't appeal to you, this one won't either. I don't mean the writing style, as Kube-McDowell's writing style is much different than either of those author's styles. However, the genre is familiar. Except for the aliens whose message Earth has heard and which prompts an attempted revival. Not many tales of the apocalypse include aliens who come across Earth well afterward. Usually if aliens are included they are the cause of the apocalypse. In this story, the apocalypse is a source of shame (on humanity's behalf) for those preparing to welcome and meet the aliens.
Michael P. Kube-McDowell, Emprise
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