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Fountain of Age: Stories

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Nine new stories from a long-time star of the science fiction field including the Hugo Award winner "The Erdmann Nexus" and Nebula Award winner "The Fountain of Age." These stories have been reprinted in "The Year's Best Science Fiction," "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year," and "Best of the Web."

Kress unpacks the future the way DNA investigators unravelled the
ebook, 300 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Small Beer Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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This book magically appeared in my mail box so I will read it. Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with the goodreads first-reads program and was sent to me in error when I won a different book (At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories). Still, when a science fiction book mysteriously arrives in a rural box served by a post office threatened with closure, it might be a sign of something. I'll keep you posted.

Update 5/19/12

I read a lot of science fiction when I w
Fred Hughes
Mar 05, 2012 Fred Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book directly from the publisher for no cost as part of the Goodreads First Reader Program.


Rather than explaining whatis going on she has the characters do what theydo and fills in any blanks that may arise. This is truly a skill she is very good at.

The nine stories involved cover rougue viruses, lost and rediscovered love, sentient non coporal entities, mind control and other interesting subjects.

They all have a slight twist and are not always wha
A collection of sf stories by Nancy Kress. Usually collections are an uneven mix, but these stories not only flow together well, but each and every story is excellent. Many of the stories are about individual humans' reactions to technological leaps or apocalyptic events. Aliens appear in a few. And yet they are all believable, like what might actually, truly happen if these events come to pass. Kress has a solid scientific understanding and avid curiosity and imagination about future breakthrou ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Falbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The presence or absence of observation also determines the results of a whole slew of other physics experiments", she said. "All right, you know all that. But why?"
"Feynman's probability wave equations-"
"Explain exactly nothing! They describe the phenomenon, they quantify it, but they don't explain why observation, which essentially means human consciousness, should be so woven into the very fabric of the universe at its most basic level. Until humans observe anything fundamental, in a very rea
Marie-Josee Larouche
Mar 16, 2012 Marie-Josee Larouche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The Erdmann Nexus

A very interesting and suspenseful story. I don't usually read these types of stories and genre and found it a bit hard to get into in the beginning but I am glad that I continued reading. At first I was confused with what was happening and it didn't make sense to me. In a way it was that, that pushed me to keep reading. The suspense was what kept me interested.

It was a really great story. Like I said I don't usually read scientific books/novels but this one was different. Th
Sep 24, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: hour-before-bed, sff
Though the stories here are uniformly quality work, I was especially taken with "By Fools Like Me". Most post-apocalypses portray doomsayer cults; few actually show any understanding of the dynamics of apocalyptic belief, let alone how that belief might shift in the event of a true catastrophe. Kress not only nails that, but does it using the Bible. I'd stand this story with Canticle for Leibowitz in the Getting Religion Right In SF category. That's as high praise as I can give.

Nothing else is q
I remember enjoying the Nancy Kress I've read, so when I was looking for some fiction recently I grabbed this one. And, yup, I liked it. Short stories rather than a full novel, but all good ones.

This is science fiction in a classical sense - she takes current developments and takes them to their next steps. Pleasant, well-written, and thought provoking. Exactly what drew me to the genre in the first place.
Oct 14, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...Nine stories with ageing, genetic manipulation and alien mystery as recurring themes. Perhaps you can say that Kress does not really surprise with these stories. Thematically they share a lot with most of Kress' oeuvre. What the collection does deliver, is nine expertly crafted stories however. Each and everyone is clearly written by someone who masters the short form completely. In these stories Kress combines very human emotions with extraordinary situations and technical advances that have ...more
Bob Rust
Jul 22, 2016 Bob Rust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Erdmann Nexus • (2008) • novella
The Kindness of Strangers • (2008) • shortstory
By Fools Like Me • (2007) • shortstory
First Rites • (2008) • novelette
End Game • (2007) • shortstory
Images of Anna • (2009) • shortstory
Laws of Survival • (2007) • novelette
Safeguard • (2007) • novelette
Fountain of Age • (2007) • novella
Jul 05, 2014 Nadia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The science fiction elements in the stories felt more like they could be replaced with fantasy elements to achieve the same effect. Not so much future stories, as the now with current science worked to fantastic conclusions.
I have to admit I didn't find these a whole lot of fun, although "Fountain of Age" was pretty good.
Jul 21, 2015 BBFlyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
interesting SF stories about aging people. not what I usually read but very thought provoking.
Douglas Summers-Stay
I first read the novella version of Beggars in Spain when I was working through the Nebula winner anthologies as a sophomore. It remains one of my favorite stories. These stories have a lot of the same themes-- young people, biotech, isolation, community. The stories all have interesting setups and characters, but sometimes the resolution of the plot left me disappointed, as it didn't feel inevitable that things should end up the way they did.
Truly enjoyed these stories
Kallen Kentner
Nancy Kress truly demonstrates her mastery of the genre by exploring classic science fiction plot devices (such as alien invasions) in brand-new ways and also by bringing to life newer science fiction concepts, such as genetic tampering.

Read the full review on GeekyLibrary.
Travis Littlechilds
As with all story collections, this had some winners and some losers, but overall it was pretty good. I came across it while looking for Beggars in Spain, since I remember loving that when I was in high school.

She has an interesting style, to me it seems a lot like a mix of Neil Gaiman and Stephen Baxter, but it works.
Mar 11, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-fiction
Top notch science fiction short stories by a master of the genre & the form. Many of these were previously published in Asimov's, but all of them are worth reading. Not a single dud in the bunch.

Kress has introduced some very interesting discussions of aging with this collection. Very thought provoking.

Highly recommend.
Pretty uneven; some stories are pretty great, others are pretty bad. Generally pretty imaginative too, and all but one story (the last and eponymous) were compelling enough that I wanted to see how they ended. The one that sticks with me the most is the first, a Hugo-award-winner called "The Erdmann Nexus".
Michael Hanscom
Impressive selection of stories; unlike many anthologies (both single- and multi-author), not a single story I'd consider a dud. Many deal with the not-too-far-future complications of genetic modification, and the whole book has a somewhat melancholy, moody feel to it that I liked a lot.
Kenny Chaffin
Good stories. Maybe I'm getting jaded, but many of these seem more like contemporary/mainstream/relationship stories than SF stories. I know this is what Nancy Kress does best, but I wouldn't say these are her best. Still enjoyed muchly.

Apr 03, 2013 Caleb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I love that the characters in this collection are so vulnerable. They are old people, children, separated from their loved ones when aliens start blowing up the world, and trapped by their own lies.
Dec 30, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Sci-fi short stories. New, different authors and unique ideas.
Karen Heuler
Just didn't grab me. I can see that what I love about her is the combination of her great characters and great ideas, and the great ideas didn't come through for me in this one.
Nov 17, 2012 andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i don't usually like short stories - they take too much effort to get into, if they're good, and then they're over too quickly! - but these were, on the whole, great.
Apr 07, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I try to read all the PK Dick nominees each year. I enjoyed the stories, but they seemed to get more convoluted as the book went on. Not that that is a bad thing!
Jun 10, 2012 Jared rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic collection of science fiction stories from Nancy Kress. She is one of the top three sf writers working today. Flawless collection. Get it now!
Jun 14, 2012 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Kress is a great sf/f writer and this collection of her stories, one a Hugo winner, and one a Nebula winner, shows it well. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Oct 01, 2013 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel mixed about this - some of the stories/ideas are great, but it's not her best writing.

Still, I am a sucker for scifi with good ideas.
Jun 16, 2012 Pamster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid collection of SF short stories. Reminded me of Maureen McHugh in that there was a lot of actual SCIENCE in the SF. Cool.
Oct 28, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kress did a great job with this collection. The themes all intertwined nicely! I especially enjoyed the last one.
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Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. 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 was later expanded into a novel with the same title. 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 Clario ...more
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