Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress is the bestselling author of multiple science-fiction and fantasy novels, including Beggars in Spain, Probability Space, and Steal Across the Sky. Her SF has won six Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Award.

Her most recent book is Tomorrow's Kin, an expansion of the Nebula-winning novella “Yesterday’s Kin,” which takes the story forward several generations. Her fiction has been translated into multiple languages, including Klingon.

Recently I asked Kress about what she was reading. Her reply:
The last three books I’ve read have differed wildly from each other. A few weeks ago I finished Charlie Jane Anders’s Nebula-winning novel, All The Birds In The Sky. Although I’m not usually a fan of science-and-magic-alltogether-O, this book worked for three reasons: First, it is a romp, with the science not meant to be taken seriously. Second, the writing is so good. Anders has a genuine gift for metaphor. Third, the characters are affecting; I was rooting for them to win out, which they do.

Next, I read Philippa Gregory’s historical novel, The Boleyn Inheritance. Gregory is at odds with nearly every other historian in her interpretation of the events of Tudor England. Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, can barely resist sneering when she discusses Gregory in recorded interviews. But I find Gregory’s books entertaining and inventive, and Tudor England has always interested me. I enjoyed the book, even if I didn’t believe it.

Now I am reading The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest For What Makes Us Human, by V.S. Ramachandran. I have only just started it, but so far am fascinated. He discusses why phantom limbs ache, what mirror therapy is doing to alleviate phantom pain, and what that tells us about how the brain can be rewired. This is the sort of book that often yields story ideas for me. Even if it doesn’t, I’m intrigued to learn what I can about the organ that is, even now, directing my fingers to type these words.
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The Page 69 Test: Dogs.

The Page 69 Test: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall.

The Page 69 Test: Tomorrow's Kin.

--Marshal Zeringue