Category Archives: Science Fiction

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

Yesterdays_Kin_500

Yesterday’s Kin

Yesterdays_Kin_500Winner of Nebula and LOCUS awards

Reviews of YESTERDAY’S KIN

“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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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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AftertheFallcover

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)

Reviews of AFTER THE FALL, BEFORE THE FALL, DURING THE FALL

“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 & Noble.com

“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.”
—Tor.com

“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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Flashpoint

Flashpoint

FlashpointThe Collapse has ransacked the economy, making work almost impossible to find and forcing Amy from college hopeful to sole provider for her terminally-ill grandmother and rebellious younger sister. To make ends meet, Amy auditions for a slot on a new reality TV show, which promises both a hefty salary and full medical benefits for her entire family. Somehow, she gets chosen, and she leaps to sign a contract despite her misgivings.

The show in which she’ll take part has an irresistible premise: audience members can win millions by predicting the behavior of each member of the cast in a crisis. But the producers are willing to do anything to maintain ratings, including using blatant setups, 24/7 surveillance, and even state-of-the-art holographic technology to simulate danger. But soon, the danger becomes all too real, and Amy—on and off the camera—must fight for her life….

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Steal Across the Sky2

Steal Across the Sky

Steal Across the Sky2The aliens appeared one day, built a base on the moon, and put an ad on the internet:

“We are an alien race you may call the Atoners. Ten thousand years ago we wronged humanity profoundly.  We cannot undo what has been done, but we wish humanity to understand it.  Therefore we request twenty-one volunteers to visit seven planets to Witness for us.  We will convey each volunteer there and back in complete safety.  Volunteers must speak English. Send requests for electronic applications to witness@Atoners.com.”

At first, everyone thought it was a joke.  But it wasn’t.

This is the story of three of those volunteers, and what they found on Kular A and Kular B.

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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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Dogs

Dogs

DogsIn this original bio-thriller from the author of Beggars in Spain, the threat of terrorism and biological warfare is all too real when the danger comes from a family’s most cherished pets.

Tessa Sanderson, ex-FBI agent, has moved to a sleepy Maryland town to escape her tragic past. When the town’s beloved dogs begin viciously attacking pet owners and their children, federal CDC agents determine that the dogs are carrying a mutated flu affecting the aggression center of their brains, for which there is no known cure. Tessa offers her unofficial assistance to Animal Control Officer Jess Langstrom, who has been ordered to round up all the dogs and quarantine them. Meanwhile, some of the locals, unconvinced of the threat, are preparing to protect their pets by any means necessary. But Tessa, the widow of an Arab who roused the suspicions of her FBI colleagues, has another secret: Someone is sending her threatening e-mails in Arabic that claim responsibility for the virus, and she resolves to go deep undercover to expose a deadly conspiracy.

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Crucible

Crucible

CrucibleIt began with Crossfire: a far-future novel of planetary colonization and alien first contact. Jake Holman, a man trying to escape a dark past, brought together a diverse group of thousands to settle on a new world. But instead the humans found themselves caught in the crossfire of a galaxy-spanning war between two disparate species: agressive, militaristic humanoids known as Furs and passive, plantlike creatures known as Vines.

Having cast their lots with the peaceful Vines, humanity faces all-out war against the technologically superior Furs. Our only hope? A virus designed by the Vines to remove all aggressiveness from the Furs. Can it spread fast enough to save not only Holman’s colony, but the rest of humanity? And at what price to the Furs?

Driven by strong ideas and deep moral questions, and peopled with real-as-life characters, Crucible shows Kress at the top of her form, amply demonstrating why she has been one of science fiction finest authors of the past twenty years.

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Nothing Human

Nothing Human

Nothing HumanTold from the perspective of several generations of teenagers, this science fiction novel involves an Earth ravaged by mankind, high-tech manipulative aliens, and advanced genetics. Early in the 21st century, global warming has caused sickness and death among plants, animals, and humans. Suddenly aliens contact and genetically modify a group of 14-year-olds, inviting them to visit their spacecraft. After several months of living among the aliens and studying genetics, the students discover that the aliens have been manipulating them and rebel. Upon their return to Earth, the girls in the group discover that they are pregnant and can only wonder what form their unborn children will take. Generations later, the offspring of these children seek to use their alien knowledge to change their genetic code, to allow them to live and prosper in an environment that is quickly becoming uninhabitable from the dual scourges of global warming and biowarfare. But after all the generations of change, will the genetically modified creatures resemble their ancestors, or will nothing human remain?

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