Category Archives: Books (Collected Short Stories)

Best-of-Nancy-Kress

The Best of Nancy Kress

Best-of-Nancy-KressOut September 30, 2015 from Subterranean Press: THE BEST OF NANCY KRESS. 200,000 words. Limited, signed edition.

Twenty-one stories, written over forty years and representing the best of Nancy Kress’s fiction. Contemporary fantasy, hard science fiction, sociological science fiction, and the odd unclassifiable. Three of these stories have won the Nebula, the Hugo, or both, and another four were nominees. The gorgeous cover, representing Anne Boleyn in “And Wild For To Hold,” is by Tom Canty.

“Nancy Kress is one of the best science-fiction writers working today. Her use of science is tricky and thought-provoking, her command of fiction sharp and full of feeling.”
—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt Continue reading The Best of Nancy Kress

Fountain of Age2

Fountain of Age

Fountain of Age2Nine new stories from a long-time star of the science fiction field including the Hugo Award winner “The Erdmann Nexus” and Nebula Award winner “The Fountain of Age.” These stories have been reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, and Best of the Web.

Kress unpacks the future the way DNA investigators unravelled the double helix: one gene at a time. In many of these stories gene sculpting is illegal yet commonplace and the effects range between slow catastrophe (“End Game”), cosmic (“First Rites”), and tragic (“Safeguard”). Then there’s the morning when Rochester disappears and Jenny has to rely on “The Kindness of Strangers.” There’s Jill, who is kidnapped by aliens and trying to learn the “Laws of Survival.” And there’s Hope, whose Grandma is regretting the world built “By Fools Like Me.”

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Nano Comes to Clifford Falls

Nano Comes to Clifford Falls and Other Stories

Nano Comes to Clifford FallsBlending a focus on cutting-edge technology with deep emotional impacts, this enticing collection draws its stories from various Year’s Best and Reader’s Choice lists. The pathos of the human condition is explored in such stories as “My Mother, Dancing,” in which seedlings are planted and those responsible must decide if they will play God with them, or let natural selection progress; or in “Nano Comes to Clifford Falls,” where nanotechnology brings every wish to everyone—yet dire problems still ensue. The narratives reveal many forms of artificial intelligence including a persecuted slave in “Computer Virus,” a controlling force of the universe in “Mirror Image,” or even one that’s entirely indifferent to humans in “Savior.” From the center of the galaxy to the swamps of Earth, all 13 inventive tales offer a trademark mix of hard science fiction interacting with flawed humanity.

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Beaker’s Dozen

Beaker’s Dozen

Beaker’s DozenThe twenty-first century, it’s often remarked, will transform our knowledge of biology, in the same way that the twentieth century transformed physics. With knowledge of course, comes application. And with the application of all we are learning about genetic engineering come social and ethical questions, some of them knotty.

This is where science fiction enters, stage left. Scientific laboratories are where the new technologies are rehearsed. Science fiction rehearses the implications of those technologies. What might we eventually do with out new-found power? Should we do it? Who should do it? Who will be affected? How? Is that a good thing or not? For whom?

Of the thirteen stories in this book, eight of them are concerned with what might come out of the beakers and test tubes and gene sequencers of microbiology. Not everything in these stories will come to pass. Possibly nothing in them will; fiction is not prediction. But I hope the stories at least raise questions about the world rushing in onus at the speed–not of light–but of thought.

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The Aliens of Earth

The Aliens of Earth

The Aliens of EarthPowerful human emotions and the relationship between the inner self and outer world are the central concerns in a deeply moving story collection by the author of Beggars in Spain . Whether the tale concerns slips through time (“The Price of Oranges,” “The Battle of Long Island,” “Wild for to Hold”), colonies for the diseased (“Inertia”) or a man receiving calls from a nonexistent house (“Phone Repairs”), the characters are real, their suffering is valid and realistic despite the fantasy context, and the author’s insights ring true. The writing is smooth and fluid; the stark, black-and-white illustrations are simplistic but well chosen for mood and impact, adding an extra kick to an already affecting array of works. – Publishers Weekly

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Trinity and Other Stories

Trinity and Other Stories

Trinity and Other Stories“Explanations Inc.,” Kress’ wonderful reply to those who insist on ultimate rationality, is just one of the ideas presented in this gourmet delicacy of a book. The stories concern basic human perceptions and desires; their simple twists neatly reveal the confusion of the human condition. “With the Original Cast” questions the relationship of experience and craft to the reality portrayed on the stage; “Shadows on the Cave Wall” focuses on a stunningly simple idea about the potential interaction of art and technology and what it might mean; “Trinity” is a terrifying look at the search for God in the possible future. Every story is beautifully crafted and realized; all will leave readers excited and alert.

Gene Wolfe’s introduction to the volume is amusing and informative, as are Kress’ own prologues to each story. The most precious gift that science fiction/fantasy writers can give their audience is a sense of reality’s mysteries. Kress delivers just that. Don’t resist her invitation to say, “what if. . . ?” – Catherine Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, Springfield, Va.

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