cover image The Best of Nancy Kress

The Best of Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress. Subterranean (, $45 (560p) ISBN 978-1-59606-721-9

The much-lauded talents of SF and fantasy writer Kress (Yesterday’s Kin) are finely showcased in this sparkling and thoughtful collection of 21 short stories. Kress, a self-professed “science groupie,” takes standard SF ideas in unique directions. In “And Wild for to Hold,” for example, a time travel experiment spirals out of control when scientists from the future grab a determined Anne Boleyn. Religious belief drives the spiritual crisis of the far-future “My Mother, Dancing” and questions a creator’s motives in “Unto the Daughters.” Obsession sharpens the conflicts of “End Game,” “Someone to Watch over Me,” and the odd romantic triangle that arises during a research mission to the center of the galaxy in “Shiva in Shadow.” “The Flowers of Aulit Prison” and “The Kindness of Strangers” highlight provocative alien perspectives. Kress’s strongest work focuses on the razor-sharp edges of science ethics and family dynamics, as in “Pathways,” “Dancing on Air,” “Margin of Error,” and the phenomenal “Beggars in Spain,” still powerful and visionary nearly 25 years after its original publication. Kress has a gift for focusing on the familiar and the personal, even in the most alien settings. This collection will fire the imaginations of new readers and longtime fans alike. (Oct.)