Recent Reads: EMERGENCE

Having unpacked the books we couldn’t do without, I picked up one of my all-time favorites, David Palmer’s EMERGENCE, to re-read it. As I’ve no doubt said before, re-reading old favorites is fraught with tension, because what if they don’t hold up?

EMERGENCE holds up. It holds up in spades. There are some moments of unintentional amusement and cognitive dissonance, particularly regarding microfiche libraries and Russians as The Bad Guys(TM), but even if you put the book in an absolutely modern context there’s an argument for the microfiche, so it was just mildly amusing.

Other than that, though, that is still a great story. While reading it I kept having little jolts of remembering What Happened Later–not so much Next as Later–but it was nearly like reading it again for the first time despite that. I had every bit as much emotional investment–possibly more, because I’m a big old softie these days–as I ever did reading it previously, which is pretty wonderful.

Also, Betsy Mitchell was one of the editors on it, which made me laugh out loud when I read the acknowledgements. I suspect that book must have been one of the very first places I encountered Betsy’s name, thus setting me up for a lifetime of wanting to work with her. :)

1 Comment


  1. I first encountered Emergence as a child in a Best SF anthology, and loved it because it spoke to me as a somewhat precocious child. I recently read it again and like you, still loved it.
    Did you know he wrote a sequel entitled “Tracking” that was serialized in “Analog” magaizine in 2008?

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