Nancy Kress

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Nancy Kress
Delia Sherman-Nancy Kress-Ellen-Datlow.jpg
Kress (center), with Delia Sherman (left) and Ellen Datlow in 2007
Born Nancy Anne Koningisor
(1948-01-20) January 20, 1948 (age 68)
Buffalo, New York, US
Pen name Anna Kendall
Occupation Fiction writer
Nationality American
Period 1976–present
Science fiction
  • Fantasy (as Kendall)[1]

Nancy Anne Kress (born January 20, 1948) is an American science fiction writer.[1] She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which she later expanded into a novel with the same title. She has also won the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 2013 for "After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall",[2] and in 2015 for "Yesterday's Kin".

In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clarion writing workshops and at The Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland.[3] During the Winter of 2008/09, Nancy Kress was the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany.[4]


Born Nancy Anne Koningisor in Buffalo, New York and grown up in East Aurora, she attended college at SUNY Plattsburgh and graduated with an M.A. in English.[5] Before starting her writing career she taught elementary school and then college English. In 1973, she moved to Rochester to marry Michael Joseph Kress. They had two sons, and divorced in 1984. At that time, she went to work at Stanton and Hucko, an advertising agency. In 1998, she married fellow author Charles Sheffield, who died in 2002 of a brain tumor. Kress moved back to Rochester, New York, to be near her grown children.[3] She recently (2009) moved to Seattle.[6] In February 2011 she married author Jack Skillingstead.[7][8]


Kress tends to write technically realistic hard scifi stories, often set in a fairly near future. Her fiction often involves genetic engineering, and, to a lesser degree, artificial intelligence. There are many technologies shared between stories, including "genemod" to refer to genetic engineering, and foamcast, a lightweight and sturdy building material that appears in many of her novels and short stories. By conducting extensive research she keeps her topics within the realm of possibility; however, as Kress clarified for one Locus (magazine) interviewer, "[Sheffield] pronounces it science fiction, and I pronounce it science fiction.[8] She loves ballet, and has written stories around it.


  • Nebula Awards
    • Best Short Story winner (1986): "Out of All Them Bright Stars", F&SF March 1985
    • Best Novella (1991): Beggars in Spain (Axolotl Press / Pulphouse Feb. 1991) / Asimov's April 1991
    • Best Novelette (1998): "The Flowers of Aulit Prison", Asimov's Oct./Nov. 1996
    • Best Novella (2007): Fountain of Age, Asimov's July 2007
    • Best Novella (2012): "After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall," Tachyon Publications
    • Best Novella (2014): "Yesterday's Kin," Tachyon Publications
  • Hugo Award
    • Best Novella (1992): Beggars in Spain (Axolotl Press / Pulphouse Feb. 1991) / Asimov's April 1991
    • Best Novella (2009): The Erdmann Nexus, Asimov's Oct./Nov. 2008


Novels - Series[edit]

The Sleepless
  1. Kress, Nancy (1993). Beggars in Spain. AvoNova / William Morrow.  [9]
  2. Beggars and Choosers, (Tor Oct. 1994)
  3. Beggars Ride, (Tor Nov. 1996)
  4. "Sleeping Dogs," (nv) Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction, ed. Robert Silverberg, Avon Eos May 1999
FBI Agent Robert Cavanaugh
  1. Oaths and Miracles, (Tor Jan. 1996)
  2. Stinger, (Tor Oct. 1998)
  3. "Plant Engineering," (ss) Death Dines at 8:30, ed. Claudia Bishop & Nick DiChario, Berkley 2001

The Probability series, also known as Faller's War, is loosely based on Kress' Nebula Award-winning novelette "The Flowers of Aulit Prison", published on Asimov’s issue of October/November 1996

  1. Probability Moon, (Tor July 2000)
  2. Probability Sun, (Tor July 2001)
  3. Probability Space, (Tor Sep. 2002)
  1. Crossfire, (Tor Feb. 2003)
  2. Crucible, (Tor Aug. 2004)
Soulvine Moor Chronicles

Published under the name Anna Kendall

  1. Crossing Over, (Gollancz June 2010 / Viking Oct. 2010)
  2. Dark Mist Rising, (Gollancz May 2011)
  3. A Bright and Terrible Sword, (Gollancz Jan. 2013)

Novels - Other[edit]

Short fiction[edit]


Collections 1, 2, 3, 4 & 9 have no overlapping stories between them. Collection 5 (25,000 words), Collection 7 (35,000 words) & Collection 8 (36,000 words) may be considered chapbooks.

  1. Trinity and Other Stories, (Bluejay Books Aug. 1985)
    • Explaining Nancy Kress, Gene Wolfe, (in) *
    • "With the Original Cast," (nv) Omni May 1982
    • "Casey’s Empire," (ss) F&SF Nov. 1981
    • "Talp Hunt," (ss) Universe 12, ed. Terry Carr, Doubleday 1982
    • "Against a Crooked Stile," (nv) Asimov’s May 1979
    • "Explanations, Inc.," (ss) F&SF July 1984; read online
    • "Shadows on the Cave Wall," (nv) Universe 11, ed. Terry Carr, Doubleday 1981
    • "Ten Thousand Pictures, One Word," (ss) Twilight Zone July/Aug. 1984
    • "Night Win," (nv) Asimov’s Sep. 1983
    • "Borovsky’s Hollow Woman," (with Jeff Duntemann), (nv) Omni Oct 1983
    • "Out of All Them Bright Stars," (ss) F&SF Mar. 1985
    • "Trinity," (na) Asimov’s Oct. 1984
  2. The Aliens of Earth, (Arkham House Oct. 1993)
    • "The Price of Oranges," (nv) Asimov’s April 1989
    • "Glass," (ss) Asimov’s Sept. 1987
    • "People Like Us," (ss) Asimov’s Sept. 1989; read online
    • "Cannibals," (nv) Asimov’s May 1987
    • "To Scale," (ss) Xanadu, ed. Jane Yolen & Martin Harry Greenberg, Tor 1993
    • "Touchdown," (ss) Asimov’s Oct. 1990
    • "Down Behind Cuba Lake," (ss) Asimov’s Sept. 1986
    • "In a World Like This," (ss) Omni Oct. 1988
    • "Philippa’s Hands," (ss) Full Spectrum, ed. Lou Aronica & Shawna McCarthy, Bantam 1988
    • "Inertia," (nv) Analog Jan. 1990
    • "Phone Repairs," (ss) Asimov’s Dec. 1986
    • "The Battle of Long Island," (ss) Omni Feb./March 1993
    • "Renaissance," (ss) Asimov’s mid-Dec. 1989
    • "Spillage," (ss) F&SF April 1988; read online
    • "The Mountain to Mohammed," (ss) Asimov’s April 1992
    • "Craps," (ss) Asimov’s March 1988
    • "And Wild For to Hold," (na) Asimov’s July 1991
    • "In Memoriam," (ss) Asimov’s June 1988
  3. Beaker’s Dozen, (Tor Aug. 1998)
    • Introduction, (in) *
    • "Beggars in Spain," (na) Axolotl Press/Pulphouse Feb. 1991 / Asimov's April 1991
    • "Feigenbaum Number," (ss) Omni Winter 1995 [not seen until 1996]
    • "Margin of Error," (ss) Omni Oct. 1994; read online
    • "Fault Lines," (na) Asimov’s Aug. 1995
    • "Unto The Daughters," (ss) Sisters in Fantasy, ed. Susan Shwartz & Martin H. Greenberg, Roc 1995
    • "Evolution," (nv) Asimov’s Oct. 1995
    • "Ars Longa," (ss) By Any Other Fame, ed. Mike Resnick & Martin Harry Greenberg, DAW 1993
    • "Sex Education," (nv) Intersections, ed. John Kessel, Mark L. Van Name & Richard Butner, Tor 1996
    • "Grant Us This Day," (ss) Asimov’s Sept. 1993; slightly revised here
    • "The Flowers of Aulit Prison," (nv) Asimov’s Oct./Nov. 1996
    • "Summer Wind," (ss) Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, AvoNova/William Morrow 1995
    • "Always True to Thee, in My Fashion," (ss) Asimov’s Jan. 1997; read online
    • "Dancing on Air," (na) Asimov’s July 1993
  4. Nano Comes to Clifford Falls and Other Stories, (Golden Gryphon Press May 2008)
    • Foreword, Mike Resnick, (in) *
    • "Nano Comes to Clifford Falls," (ss) Asimov’s July 2006
    • "Patent Infringement," (ss) Asimov’s May 2002
    • "Computer Virus," (nv) Asimov’s April 2001
    • "Product Development," (vi) Nature March 16, 2006
    • "The Most Famous Little Girl in the World," (nv) SciFiction May 8, 2002
    • "Savior," (na) Asimov’s June 2000
    • "Ej-Es," (nv) Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian, ed. Janis Ian & Mike Resnick, DAW 2003; read online
    • "Shiva in Shadow," (na) Between Worlds, ed. Robert Silverberg, SFBC 2004
    • "First Flight," (ss) Space Cadets, ed. Mike Resnick, L.A.WorldCon/SciFi, Inc., Aug. 2006
    • "To Cuddle Amy," (vi) Asimov’s Aug. 2000
    • "Wetlands Preserve," (nv) SciFiction Sep. 27 2000
    • "Mirror Image," (na) One Million A.D., ed. Gardner Dozois, SFBC Dec. 2005
    • "My Mother, Dancing," (ss) Asimov’s June 2004; first appeared in French in Destination 3001, ed. Robert Silverberg & Jacques Chambon, Flammarion 2000
  5. Five Stories, (self-published ebook July 2011)
    • "The Flowers of Aulit Prison," (nv) Asimov’s Oct/Nov 1996
    • "Exegesis," (ss) Asimov's April/May 2009
    • "Margin of Error," (ss) Omni Oct. 1994; read online
    • "Patent Infringement," (ss) Asimov's May 2002
    • "To Cuddle Amy," (vi) Asimov's Aug. 2000
  6. Future Perfect: Six Stories of Genetic Engineering, (Phoenix Pick Feb. 2012)
    • "The Flowers of Aulit Prison," (nv) Asimov’s Oct/Nov 1996
    • "First Rites," (na) Jim Baen’s Universe Oct. 2008
    • "Trinity," (na) Asimov’s Oct. 1984
    • "Margin of Error," (ss) Omni Oct. 1994; read online
    • "Dancing on Air," (na) Asimov’s July 1993
    • "And No Such Things Grow Here," (nv) Asimov’s June 2001
  7. The Body Human: Three Stories of Future Medicine, (Phoenix Pick March 2012)
    • "Evolution," (nv) Asimov’s Oct. 1995
    • "Fault Lines," (na) Asimov’s Aug. 1995
    • "The Mountain to Mohammed," (ss) Asimov’s April 1992
  8. AI Unbound: Two Stories of Artificial Intelligence, (Phoenix Pick March 2012)
    • "Computer Virus," (nv) Asimov's April 2001
    • "Savior," (na) Asimov's June 2000
  9. Fountain of Age: Stories, (Small Beer Press April 2012)
    • "The Erdmann Nexus," (na) Asimov’s Oct./Nov. 2008
    • "The Kindness of Strangers," (ss) Fast Forward 2, ed. Lou Anders, Pyr Oct. 2008
    • "By Fools Like Me," (ss) Asimov’s Sep. 2007
    • "First Rites," (na) Jim Baen’s Universe Oct. 2008
    • "End Game," (ss) Asimov’s April/May 2007; read online
    • "Images of Anna," (ss) Fantasy Sep. 2009; read online
    • "Laws of Survival," (nv) Jim Baen’s Universe Dec. 2007; read online
    • "Safeguard," (nv) Asimov’s Jan. 2007
    • "Fountain of Age," (na) Asimov’s July 2007


  • Beggars in Spain, (Axolotl Press / Pulphouse Feb. 1991) / Asimov’s April 1991
  • The Price of Oranges, (Pulphouse June 1992); (ss), reprinted from Asimov’s April 1989
  • Dancing on Air, (Tachyon Publications Sep. 1997); (na), reprinted from Asimov’s July 1993
  • Act One, (Phoenix Pick March 2010); (na), reprinted from Asimov’s March 2009


  1. Nebula Awards Showcase 2003, (Roc / Penguin April 2003)

Index to short fiction[edit]

Title Form Year First published Reprinted/collected
Beggars in Spain na 1991 Kress, Nancy (Feb 1991). Beggars in Spain. Axolotl Press / Pulphouse Publishing.  Kress, Nancy (Apr 1991). "Beggars in Spain". Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine 15 (4-5). 
Mithridates, he died old ss 2013 Kress, Nancy (January 2013). "Mithridates, he died old". Asimov's Science Fiction 37 (1): 50–56. 


  1. Beginnings, Middles & Ends, (Writer’s Digest Books 1993)
  2. Dynamic Characters: How to Create Personalities That Keep Readers Captivated, (Writer’s Digest Books 1998)
  3. Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints, (Writer’s Digest Books 2005)


  1. ^ a b c Clute, John (29 June 2015). "Kress, Nancy". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "2012 Nebula Award Winners". Locus Online. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Nancy Kress Home Page". Nancy Kress. 2005. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  4. ^ "The Picador Guest Professorship for Literature". American Studies: Leipzig. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  5. ^ A Conversation With Nancy Kress, retrieved 11 October 2015 
  6. ^ David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (2010). Year's Best SF15. Eos Books. p. 119. 
  7. ^ Kress, Nancy (11 February 2011). "Las Vegas". Nancy's Blog. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Evens, Arthur (2010). The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Wesleyan University Press. p. 580. 
  9. ^ Expanded from the novella of the same name, which serves as the novel version's opening section

External links[edit]