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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Unknown (1 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616960655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616960650
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 760,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This isn't the usual post-environmental apocalypse/alien invasion survival book... Readers of science fiction and those interested in environmental issues will question the current wisdom about our environment and climate science, as well as how much effect humans may--or may not--have on the future." -- School Library Journal (April 2012) "A very impressive and obviously heartfelt work." "It's hard to imagine a better writer of science fiction in America today than Nancy Kress - to call Kress a science-fiction writer seems too limiting. She's one of our best writers." -- Salt Lake Tribune "I highly recommend this book." "A disturbing, lively piece of fiction." "Nebula- and Hugo-winner Kress mixes time travel, global catastrophe, and mysterious aliens in this strong postapocalyptic tale... Kress handles the crisscrossing timelines with cool elegance." -- Publishers Weekly (March 19, 2012) "An elegant novella that combines several wildly different science fiction ideas into a tight package... Expect to see this one on the final ballots of the major awards next year." "A highly intelligent, sublimely understated glimpse into humankind's future - it's comparable in thematic impact to Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s classic A Canticle for Leibowitz ." --Paul Goat Allen,

About the Author

Nancy Kress writes a monthly fiction column for 'Writer's Digest'. She is the author of 18 books and has won three Nebula Awards.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
I came across this book by chance. A quick read at less than 200 pages, it’s a bit more like a novella than a full-length novel. This book was first published in 2012. The author is an accomplished and fairly prolific writer of sci-fi and fantasy, but this is the first I have read of her works.

The story is three threads of narrative – set after the fall (2035), before the fall (2013) and during the fall (2014). As the 2013 thread flows naturally into 2014, we learn more about what is going on in the world, and how the thread that we have been reading from 2035 has occurred. But even as a pre- and post-apocalyptic story, it is intriguing in that in each narrative thread we read only of a very small and isolated pocket of incident or person(s) in each timeframe. It thus reads as a very personal and very thought-provoking book of what could be going on around us at any time, and the impact that it could have on a much broader and more global scale than we could ever really envisage. A fine blend of science and humanity, this is a work that reminded me of the classic John Christopher novels of small pockets of people in an apocalyptic situation. A most interesting and enjoyable read, I look forward to more by the author.
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Format: Paperback
One of science fiction's greatest literary talents, Nancy Kress, returns in this captivating, beautifully written, novella, " After the Fall, Before the Fall and During the Fall", about the aftermath of a near future ecologically-caused collapse of human civilization, resulting in a mere twenty-four survivors inhabiting "The Shell", an enclosed habitat constructed by aliens, the Tesslies, who have granted the inhabitants the ability to travel briefly backward in time, to kidnap youngsters as additional inhabitants of "The Shell", hoping to increase humanity's slim chance at survival. A brilliant mathematician and FBI consultant, Julie Khan, develops an algorithm predicting when future kidnappings will occur. Her own imminent fate as well as those of "The Shell" inhabitants will converge in surprisingly unexpected ways. Kress has offered a psychologically rich thriller, with characters as rewarding as Julie Khan and Pete, one of six children born within "The Shell". Hers is among the most emotionally gripping and plausible tales of a near future dystopia that I have seen published recently, and one worthy of a wider readership, including one that extends beyond a traditional audience of science fiction fans. Anyone interested in reading or writing dystopian science fiction should view Kress' latest work as required reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Baker on 1 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's an entertaining and intriguing read: an audacious plot well supported by excellent characterization. Themes of selfishness, selflessness and necessity provide food for the thoughtful reader, and a coming of age plot is handled deftly. The story is slightly marred (but not spoiled) for me by an environmentalist theme which is disappointingly crude, and jars somewhat in a book that does so much else so very subtly. So a well-deserved 4 stars rather than five, but well worth getting and reading.

I read a sample in Lightspeed Magazine, April 2012, and immediately knew I wanted to read the rest. One plot line is a forensic detective story as statistician Julie closes in on the pattern and meaning behind a bizarre series of child-snatchings and burglaries. The other covers the stresses of a teen, Pete, who lives in the one small remaining community of human survivours after a global environmental disaster. Determined to rebuild the human race at any cost, they now live as guests (or possibly pets, or possibly experiments) of incomprehensible aliens. They are able to emerge from their artificial environment only for brief raids on the past to steal supplies, or children to boost their numbers.

Both sides of the story are well done and thought-provoking. Characters are particularly fine creations. Pete is very believably handled, no mean feat given the very strange environment he's been cast into. His anger and jealousies (and his eventual maturation into someone able to look afresh at his society and make moral choices) give the book a lot of its drive.
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By A. J. Poulter on 16 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
A very slim book which neatly segues three narratives, as per its its title. In one, a police team are trying to crack a case of seemingly random kidnappings of children by other strange children who disappear into thin air. To the reader it is revealed that these kidnappings are being done by a small group of survivors from the future, following an ecological collapse on Earth. A third thread gives the build-up tp this collapse. And there are aliens involved! Some very neat twists at the end surprise.
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