cover image The Aliens of Earth

The Aliens of Earth

Nancy Kress. Arkham House Publishers, $26.95 (327pp) ISBN 978-0-87054-166-7

Powerful 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. (Nov.)