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Fountain of Age: Stories Paperback – May 8, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931520453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931520454
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Quality oozes from every page. A master class in the art of short-story writing.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Passions are magnified by age and the world only becomes more unpredictable in Kress’s new collection, anchored by the Nebula-winning title novella. The nine stories, published over the course of just two years, wrestle with themes of love, death, and transformation. . . . Kress’s depiction of science is much like her characters’ experiences with love: by turns glorious and terrible, and always a little disturbing, even in triumph.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for Nancy Kress’s previous books:

“Nancy Kress Has the true storyteller’s Gift–the ability to make her characters and what happens to them so vital that the reader’s heart aches.” —Stephen R. Donaldson

“Nancy Kress comprehends the grimy relationships among bioscience, technology, and politics; and soon we will too, if only enough of us read her. Too soon it cannot be.” —Gene Wolfe

“Nancy Kress has written a novel that graphically disects the roots of human violence while affirming the invincibility of the human spirit. An Alien Light is both provocative and insightful.” —Julian May

“Kress’s villains are not diabolical conspirators but willfully ignorant hypocrites, shortsighted and greedy dunderheads, the well-intentioned half-baked—in short, us. But we are also the heroes whose generosity, honesty and energy could turn our lemming tribe away from the polluted waters ahead.” —Washington Post

“The plotting is fast-paced, the characterization is good, and science explained in easily digestible portions.” —New Scientist

“The kind of thriller that continually makes you want to turn the pages faster than you can read them.” —SF Site

“That Kress remains a master is everywhere evident.” —Booklist

“The keeness of vision to. . . see the possibilities for the future very clearly, and they are both fascinating and frightening.” —San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle

About the Author

Nancy Kress is the author of thirty books, including four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. For sixteen years she was the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine. She is perhaps best known for the “Sleepless” trilogy that began with Beggars in Spain. Her work has won four Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Award. Most recent books are a collection an SF novel, Steal Across the Sky; a YA fantasy written under the name Anna Kendall, Crossing Over; and a short novel of eco-terror, Before the Fall, During the Fall, After the Fall. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, SF writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 7 customer reviews
Interesting twists at the end.
The story poses a moral question by pitting compassion for innocent children against the safety of a nation.
These are very big awards for sci-fi writers, and so well deserved.
Pat Gallagher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By fastreader on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This review is based on an Advance Uncorrected Proof Version of the book which I received free from the Publisher through the Goodreads First Reads program.

This book is a collection of 9 different stories written by Hugo and Nebula Award Winning author Nancy Kress. I expected Greatness, and got NIRVANA.

The author quickly brings you into the story and builds on the story arc until its satisfying conclusion. Character development is quick and meaningful, and the characters are relatable.

NO spoilers follow

The 9 stories are:

The Erdmann Nexus - the "Ship" entering the solar system influenced al about it as it bent space and time in it's travels. Henry Erdmann, retired Physicist, is also being influenced as are other members in the retirement home. What does this mean / What does the ship want ?

The Kindness of Strangers - Aliens are systematically erasing entire cities on Erath. Starting with the larges the cities and everyone in them is just disappearing. A small group of people who left the city are finding that having been trapped by the aliens within an invisible wall of force they need to cooperate. Finally the aliens cease their attack on the cities and their altruistic motive is determined.

By Fools Like Me - after an environmental catastrophe called "The Crash" anything that wastes natures' bounty becomes evil. Even books, much like the book Fahrenheit 451 ! What happens when some books that survived "The Crash" are recovered by a young boy ?

First Rites - Cixin was born to a surrogate mother who had been impregnated at a dodgy fertility clinic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nancy Kress puts the science in science fiction, but more importantly, she tells stories about people. Too many writers of hard sf believe that inventive ideas are enough to carry a story. Kress knows that there is a difference between a science essay dressed up as fiction and an actual story. Beyond her emphasis on realistic characters and human emotions, her stories are defined by graceful, elegant prose. With only one exception, the stories in this collection -- all of which were published between 2007 and 2009 -- are excellent. Six of the nine are outstanding.

Kress blends humor with intrigue in "The Erdmann Nexus" as an elderly physicist and other senior citizens in his retirement home share flashes of memory -- or, as the physicist perceives them, not memories but real-time experiences. Meanwhile an alien ship executes a hasty and unexpected change of course and a ballet dancer's necklace becomes the focus of everyone's attention. How do those storylines intersect with that of the battered woman who acts as the physicist's caretaker? Ingeniously. With its sharp ideas, multi-faceted characters, and elements of mystery shrouded in science, "The Erdmann Nexus" won a well-deserved Hugo. This is short sf at its finest.

A senior citizen also headlines the Nebula-winning title story. "Fountain of Age" deals with tissue regeneration, the history of the Romani people, and creative crime, but it is fundamentally a story of enduring love tempered with sacrifice and regret. Suspense and deft plotting make this a riveting read, but it is again the carefully crafted characters that make the story memorable.

Genetic modification is a recurring theme in these stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pat Gallagher on February 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Fountain of Age," by Nancy Kress. She has won both Hugo and Nebula awards for two of her stories within this book. Both rocked, totally rocked. These are very big awards for sci-fi writers, and so well deserved.

I liked all the stories except for one in the book, so I can highly recommend it as a pretty fast and fascinating read--it delves a lot into genetics and theory of physics and the evolution of consciousness, which makes it a true science fiction read, rather than some of the current more fantasy stuff that purports to be that.

I truly admire the author's knowledge of so many areas of scientific research, speculation, and facts.
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By Peter Kaiser on May 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent stories. I didn't realize I had already read these stories but it was a treat revisiting them, quite nice.
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