Nancy Kress is an American Science Fiction
writer, best known for her popular Beggars in Spain
series (based on a Hugo-winning
novella). Her fiction tends to be on the harder end of the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness
, though she uses a lot of Physics Plus
She has written over twenty novels and many short-stories. The third novel of her Probability
series, Probability: Space
, won a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial award, and she's dabbled with (science-fictional) horror in her novel, Dogs
. In addition to science fiction published under her own name, she has also written a YA fantasy series, the Soulvine Moor Chronicles
, as "Anna Kendall".
Works by Nancy Kress with a page on this wiki:
Tropes in other works by Nancy Kress:
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Rather bizarrely lampshaded in a short story called "A Delicate Shade of Kipney", published in an early issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine; her characters, third- and fourth-generation descendants of a small group stranded on an alien planet with a nearly-opaque atmosphere, speak of such colors as "kipney" and "tlem" (to the dismay of their ancestors, who still insist the planet be called "Exile" rather than "Keedaithen").
- Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: In the short-story, "The Price of Oranges", an elderly man discovers a time corridor, and uses it to bring back fine cigars and fur coats bought 'cheaply' in 1937. It never occurs to him to buy gold certificates which will be worth a fortune now, but as the story shows he's well-meaning, but not very bright.
- Indy Hat Roll: Probability: Space includes literary equivalents of this. An act of great stupidity requires our protagonists to fly their ship through a closing jump gate to escape annihilation. They repeat this just in case. Then they realize all the jump gates, everywhere, are closing, and they must fly through a series to get back to Earth before they're stranded. All but one of these is a close enough call to qualify for an Indy Hat Roll.
- In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: Invoked in An Alien Light: an alien race is puzzled that humanity didn't blow itself up before getting into space, despite being competitive. They must find an answer while humanity is blasting them into space dust.
- Language Of Truth: The Probability: Space series has a race that experiences a consensual, shared reality, and can't say things that disagree with the consensus. It's not so much that they can't lie—but they can't lie unless they all believe the lie.
- Our Zombies Are Different: In Dogs, the virus only affects dogs.
- Settling the Frontier: Crossfire is about humanity's colonization of the planet Greentree—and the unexpected things they find there.
- Summon Everyman Hero: In Yanked! (part of David Brin's Out of Time series), ordinary 20th c. teens Jason and Sharon are yanked into the 26th century, based on their potential.
- Zombie Apocalypse: An unusual version in Dogs, where the virus only affects dogs.