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After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall: A Novel [Paperback]

Nancy Kress
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.50
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (1 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616960655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616960650
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall "In the year 2035, all that is left of humanity lives in the Shell. After ecological disasters have nearly destroyed the Earth, twenty-six survivors are imprisoned in a sterile enclosure built by an alien race. Fifteen-year-old Pete is one of the six children who were born in the Shell. Though he possesses birth defects common to the Six, including sterility, Pete is resolved to lead humanity to a Full description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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3.0 out of 5 stars good story 27 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like the book. Manage suspense in a very good way. But I would like a better end. IT is a little abrupt. Apart of that a very recommendable reading.
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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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