Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-ix novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Most recent works are After The Fall, Before The Fall, During The Fall (Tachyon, 2012), a novel of apocalypse, and Yesterday’s Kin, about genetic inheritance (Tachyon, 2014). In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.

“DNA Yet Again, Kress?”
or, Why I Write So Much About Genetic Engineering

by Nancy Kress

Every once in a while some critic says, “Science fiction is over. The future is here now. Science has caught up with science fiction and there is nothing left to write about.” To these people I say, “Huh? What are you talking about?”

Science is advancing at a dizzying rate, but that produces more to write about, not less. Bi-weekly, Science News dazzles me with fresh discoveries in all fields. So why do I mostly (not exclusively, but very definitely mostly) choose to write about genetic engineering in my fiction? Three reasons.
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Coming Soon Enough is the name of Stephen Cass’ new anthology eBook about near-future technologies like drones, wearable computing, implants, 3-D printing, and more. It’s got 6 stories by top-notch authors and it’s only $1.99. And you can read the Nancy Kresss story for free!

Here’s the table of contents and story link…
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Attention, readers!

Phoenix Pick has a new pay-what-you-want eBook special ready to go: Future Perfect: Six Stories of Genetic Engineering by Nancy Kress!

About the book:

Nancy Kress is unrivaled in her treatment of genetic engineering. In 1991 she wrote the ground-breaking classic novella Beggars in Spain (Hugo/Nebula) and since then has only enhanced her outstanding reputation of telling stories set in the near-future and dealing with genetics.

This collection brings together six of these stories written between 1984 and 2008, including “The Flowers of Aulit Prison” which won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short story.

Readers may download this book for free or for a nominal price of their choice from September 2 – September 30. So grab it now!

Instructions and download links can be found on Phoenix Pick’s catalogue page.

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

“Let me buy you a pint, Elric…”

This week, we posed the following to our panelists:

Q: We’ve all encountered characters in stories and novels that we’ve felt a real connection to, and would love to chat with more. Maybe buy them a drink. What characters have you encountered in Fantasy and SF that you’d like to buy a pint for?

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Free eBook: THE BODY HUMAN by Nancy Kress

Phoenix Pick continues their free eBook promotion this month with
The Body Human: Three Stories of Future Medicine
by Nancy Kress!

About the Book:

Nancy Kress is famous for creating realistic near-future societies based on technological advances and then studying the impact those technological changes have on our society

This collection has three outstanding stories that deal with innovations in medical science and how they affect our lives.

Instructions and download links can be found on Phoenix Pick’s catalogue page. The Coupon Code for the free eBook this month is 9991491 and is only good between February 2 through February 28, 2014. So grab it now!

ALSO: Be sure to check out Phoenix Picks’ 2nd book bundle sale starting featuring titles from Kevin J. Anderson (a prequel to his famed Seven Saga series), Robert J. Sawyer, L. Neil Smith, Brad Torgersen, Kristine Rusch, Jan and Brian Herbert and Mike Resnick and the classic post-apocalyptic novel by Leigh Brackett, The Long Tomorrow. See details on the web page at www.BookBale.com

A Reading Resolution: Read More Older SFF

I adore Tuesdays, the day that many new books are released. I have an (over) abundant collection of new releases, with more on the way. However, in the hustle and bustle of “shiny new pretty” some older gems fall by the side. This year, I resolve to read more older books that either were crushed by the weight of my to read pile or I haven’t discovered yet. My general rule is that the book has to be at least 5 years old and the goal is to read 12 this year.

My pick for January was recommended to me by a reader friend with some familiarity with my usual reads, and John DeNardo favorably reviewed it here in 2006, so I feel like I’m starting on the right page.

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress is full-length novel expanded from a Hugo and Nebula award-winning novella (of the same name) from the early 1990s.

The synopsis:

In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent … and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other “Sleepless” are outcasts — victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society … and, ultimately, from Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her “gift” — a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom … and revenge.

If you prefer to read the original novella, you can buy it here. Just be aware that there are two more parts to the story.

Have any book suggestions to help me reach my goal?

Phoenix Pick continues their free eBook promotion this month with AI Unbound: Two Stories of Artificial Intelligence by Nancy Kress!

About the Book:

Nancy Kress is the author of twenty-two novels and numerous short stories. She is perhaps best known for the “Sleepless” trilogy that began with BEGGARS IN SPAIN. Her fiction has won four Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the 2003 John W. Campbell Award (for PROBABILITY SPACE).

These two outstanding stories give us a fascinating look into the evolution of artificial intelligence and the impact it has on human society.

Expect the unexpected

Instructions and download links can be found on Phoenix Pick’s catalogue page. The Coupon Code for the free eBook this month is 9991976 and is only good between May 2nd – May 30, 2013. Grab it now!

MIND MELD: Who are Your Favorite Women in Genre?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

In celebration of Women in Genre Month we ask some of our favorites about some of their favorites!

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: Who are your favorite women authors in genre? What are your favorite books written by them?

Here’s what they said…

Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy titles, including Beggars in Spain, Nothing Human, Probability Space, Stinger, and her bestselling Write Great Fiction series. She is a recipient of the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards, and her work has been translated into 16 languages. She lives in Rochester, New York.

My favorite female author is Ursula K. LeGuin. I started reading her in the late sixties and have never stopped. Her best work combines genuine, multi-dimensional characters with “thought experiments” about how societies are organized, and with what consequences. My favorite of her works are The Dispossessed and the collection of related novellas, Four Ways Into Forgiveness. Brilliant, compassionate, believable, these books truly eplore what it means to be human, in human societies, striving for the things human beings care about.

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MIND MELD: SF/F Writing Dream Teams

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

SF/F has a long history of collaboration ranging from two authors teaming up to shared worlds, we could list dozens of books that are the products of collaboration. But not everyone has worked on a story in this manner. We asked our panelists this question:

Q: What ‘dream’ writing team-up would you like to see?

Here’s what they said…

Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of 26 books of SF, fantasy, and writing advice. Her fiction has won multiple Nebula and Hugo awards, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

The dream writing team I’d like to see is Ursula LeGuin and Karen Joy Fowler. Both have graceful, eloquent styles and a deep feeling for the human condition: perspicacity tempered with compassion, but never sentimentality. In addition, they would bring the perspectives of two different generations. That would be a story that I would give anything to read.

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SFFWRTCHT: A Chat With Hugo/Nebula-Winning Author Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress‘ latest novel is Flash Point, a young adult science fiction story about a teen who takes a job on a virtual reality TV show that’s more than she bargained for. A former columnist for Writer’s Digest, Kress has been nominated for and won one Hugos and four Nebulas. She’s currently nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and Nebula for her novella After The Fall, Before The Fall, During The Fall. Her novels include The Probability Trilogy and The Sleepers Saga, which includes Beggars In Spain based on her award winning novella. And she’s written writing books for Writer’s Digest and more. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Omni, Galaxy, amongst others, as well as several year’s best anthologies. Along with Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Mike Resnick, she’s headlining the colonist science fiction anthology, Beyond The Sun, coming in July from Fairwood Press. She lives in Seattle with her husband, fellow writer Jack Skillingstead, and a spoiled toy poodle, Cosette. She can be found online at www.sff.net/people/nankress, on Twitter as @NancyKress and Facebook.
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Very rarely does a short fiction anthology score a home run with every single story it contains. Tastes differ from reader to reader. We asked this week’s participants to play the role of Editor:

Q: If you could publish a short fiction anthology containing up to 25 previously-published sf/f/h stories, which stories would it include and why?

Here’s what they said:

Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of 26 books of SF, fantasy, and writing advice. Her most recent novel is Steal Across the Sky (Tor, 2009), an SF novel about a crime committed by aliens against humanity 10,000 years ago – for which they would now like to atone. Her fiction has won multiple Nebula and Hugo awards, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

I teach SF often and have never been able to find the exact anthology I want to teach! This would be it. I know there are many wonderful stories I left out either because I had no room (you limited me to 25) or haven’t read them. There are also great writers whose novels I prefer to their short fiction. But this anthology would be a joy to teach.

  1. “Sandkings” by George R.R. Martin
  2. “Nine Lives” by Ursula K. LeGuin
  3. “Houston, Houston, Do You Read” by James Tiptree, Jr.
  4. “Morning Child” by Gardner Dozois
  5. “Johnny Mnemonic” by William Gibson
  6. “A Braver Thing” by Charles Sheffield
  7. “We See Things Differently” by Bruce Sterling
  8. “Firewatch” by Connie Willis
  9. “The Faithful Companion at Forty” by Karen Joy Fowler
  10. “Baby Makes Three” by Theodore Sturgeon
  11. “Continued on the Next Rock” by R.A. Lafferty
  12. “When It Changed” by Joanna Russ
  13. “For I Have Touched the Sky” by Mike Resnick
  14. “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
  15. “Dead Worlds” by Jack Skillingstead
  16. “Divining Light” by Ted Kosmatka
  17. “Blood Music” by Greg Bear
  18. “The Undiscovered” by William Sanders
  19. “The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester
  20. “The Star” by Arthur Clarke
  21. “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman
  22. “Daddy’s World” by Walter Jon Williams
  23. “The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi
  24. “Lincoln Train” by Maureen McHugh
  25. “Aye, and Gomorrah” by Samuel L. Delaney

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SF/F fans love to talk about their favorite books being adapted for film. But what about television? Are there books better suited for a television series? We asked this week’s panelists (inspired by a suggestion from James Wallace Harris)…

Q: What SF/F book would make a great television series? How would you adapt it for the small screen?

Here’s what they said…

Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of over 20 books of SF, fantasy, and writing advice. Her latest is Steal Across the Sky. Her fiction has won three Nebulas, a Hugo, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

My choice for a TV miniseries would be More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon. Since the book is already divided into three distinct sections, it could be presented as three two-hour episodes. It focuses on character rather than on special effects, which is good for the small screen. Finally — it’s a wonderful story.

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