Category Archives: Recent and Notable Books


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


Yesterday’s Kin

Yesterdays_Kin_500Winner of Nebula and LOCUS awards


“Science-fiction fans will luxuriate in the dystopian madness, while even nonfans will find an artful critique of humanity’s ability to cooperate in the face of a greater threat.”
Kirkus Reviews

Kress has proven that she can pack a huge amount of story into a small container (as with 2013’s title After the Fall Before the Fall, During the Fall), and here the author expertly explores one family’s experience of alien visitation.” —Library Journal

“Nancy Kress has always written stories as accessible to the novice as to the seasoned fan, and “Yesterday’s Kin” gets my vote as this summer’s most inviting introduction to science fiction for new readers.” —Gary K. Wolfe, Chicago Tribune

“Sparely constructed and cleverly resolved, “Yesterday’s Kin” provides everything readers need for an immersive plunge into a frightening, fascinating and inescapable predicament.” —Seattle Times

“Nancy Kress delivers one of the strongest stories of the year to date…. As with all of Kress’s work, this is very nicely crafted, with well-paced prose that carries you through the story, complex human characters, a compelling and conflict-driven human story, a clever twist partway through, and an even cleverer twist at the end.” —Gardner Dozois, editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction series

“Clear prose and deft strokes of character” —Locus

Aliens have landed in New York. After several months of no explanations, they finally reveal the reason for their arrival.

The news is not good.

Geneticist Marianne Jenner is having a career breakthrough, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Her children Elizabeth and Ryan constantly bicker, agreeing only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Her youngest, Noah, is addicted to a drug that keeps temporarily changing his identity. The Jenner family could not be further apart. But between the four of them, the course of human history will be forever altered.

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After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

AftertheFallcover Winner of the Nebula Award

In 2035, all that is left of humanity lives in the Shell. No one knows why aliens attacked in 2014, devastated the environment, and nearly destroyed humanity. Or why the aliens imprisoned twenty-six survivors in a sterile enclosure built on the barren remains of the Earth. But those survivors are determined to not only survive but to flourish, no matter what that involves.

In 2013, the catastrophe has not yet struck. But FBI-consultant Julia Kahn has her own, personal catastrophe, as well as an unsolved string of child abductions to solve.

In 2014, things deep in the Earth are changing: tectonic plates, randomly mutated bacteria, deep-sea thermal vents.

Something is happening, in slow motion, with large manifestations and small, unstoppable. But no one knows what, or who is responsible, or what should be done. And everyone’s guesses are wrong.

(Tachyon Press, 2013)


“Nebula- and Hugo-winner Kress mixes time travel, global catastrophe, and mysterious aliens in this strong post-apocalyptic tale…. Kress handles the crisscrossing timelines with cool elegance.”
Publishers Weekly

“This isn’t the usual post-environmental apocalypse/alien invasion survival book…. 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.” —School Library Journal

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall is a highly intelligent, sublimely understated glimpse into humankind’s future—it’s comparable in thematic impact to Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s classic A Canticle for Leibowitz, and that is saying something. Simultaneously disheartening and inspiring, this novel’s ultimate power is very much like the mega-tsunami referenced within its pages—you won’t see it coming, but when it hits you, you will be swept away.”
—Barnes &

“Nancy Kress packs a lot into a short novel of alien invasion, time travel, and ecological disaster…Kress makes us care about the characters as well as the fate of the whole planet.” –Denver Post

“Kress succeeds in tackling major themes—societal responsibility, the stewardship of the planet and mother love…. Recommended.” —The Guardian, U

“Superstar SF and fantasy author Nancy Kress returns with After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, an elegant novella that combines several wildly different science fiction ideas into a tight package. There’s a little bit of everything here: time travel, hard science, environmental collapse, aliens, post-apocalyptic dystopia. It may sound hard to combine all of these in such a short format, but Nancy Kress makes it work.”

“This story, of the terrible choices people must make in the face of ecological catastrophe, asks wrenching questions—‘What does it take to remain human? What is survival worth?’—and answers with the authority that Kress always brings to bear on both science and humanity.”
—Nicola Griffith, author of Slow River and Hild

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Beggars in Spain

Beggars In Spain

Beggars in SpainLeisha Camden is genetically engineered to not need sleep. So are sixteen other children in the United States, and they are just the beginning. But the Sleepless represent a challenge to the social order: Their extra daily time and extended life span confer a built-in evolutionary advantage over everyone else. As humanity bifurcates into two separate strains, tensions grow. So do opinions among the Sleepless themselves on how to handle this: work to integrate with Norms? Create a separate, self-sufficient society? Leave the planet entirely? As violence increases, Leisha and her fellows wrestle with a basic human question: What do the haves owe the have-nots in a world where technological progress is making most workers obsolete?

Then the gene for sleeplessness is discovered to be dominant, and the next generations of Sleepless inherit the complexities their parents have caused. Miranda, a brilliant rebel and Leisha’s niece, joins forces with Drew, a Sleeper with the gift of lucid dreaming, to change the course of United States history.


“The author of An Alien Light and Brain Rose explores the nature of humanity’s fear of differences in this elegantly written novel set on tomorrow’s horizon. A priority purchase for sf collections.” –-Library Journal

“thrilling drama, compelling dialectic.” –Kirkus Reviews
”Superb . . . An exquisite saga of biological advantages.” –Denver Post
“Imagination, characterization, and command of the language.” –-Chicago Sun-Times

”A depth of imagination unusual even among science fiction writers.” –Analog

”Thought-provoking . . . raises some intriguing scientific and sociological issues.” –Publishers Weekly (This text refers to the Audio CD edition)
“Hard-edged, realistic, near-future SF with all the attention to character the field is perpetually criticized for lacking. When you finish it, you won’t want to give it away to that false friend who keeps telling you ‘sci-fi’ is for kids…so buy two copies.” –Gene Wolfe

(Avon/HarperCollins, 1993)

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