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Nancy Kress

Author Guest of Honor

Photo of Nancy Kress

NANCY KRESS is the author of thirty-five books, including twenty-eight novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing.  Her work has won six Nebulas (for “Beggars in Spain,” “The Flowers of Aulit Prison,” “Out of All Them Bright Stars,” “Fountain of Age,” “After the Fall, Before the Fall, and During the Fall,” and “Yesterday’s Kin”); two Hugos (for “Beggars in Spain” and “The Erdmann Nexus”); a Sturgeon (for “The Flowers of Aulit Prison”); and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Probability Space).  Her most recent work is a trilogy from Tor: Tomorrow’s KinIf Tomorrow Comes), and Terran Tomorrow.  The series features a pandemic, aliens who are not what they seem, genetic engineering, and a desperate race to avoid global war.  In 2015, Subterranean Press released a 200,000-word volume of The Best of Nancy Kress with a gorgeous Tom Canty cover.

Nancy is also the author of over a hundred short stories.  Her work has been translated into Swedish, Danish, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Croatian, Chinese, Lithuanian, Romanian, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Russian, Hungarian, and Klingon, none of which she can read.  

Much—though not all—of her later work concerns genetic engineering.  She has contributed stories on this topic to an anthology based on Microsoft’s Advanced Research division and to one created by the magazine ECONOMIST to showcase tech developments in the year 2050, among others.  She is on the board of SF Advisors to the X-Prize.

Nancy grew up in East Aurora, a small town in New York State, the oldest of four children.  She was a tomboy, climbing trees and dragging her dolls into the woods to be pioneer settlers (one perished during this process).  Like all writers, she was a passionate reader, plowing her way through any reading matter at hand with total lack of discrimination.   

Nancy’s first marriage, to Michael Kress, produced two sons, Kevin and Brian, both of whom are computer professionals.  In 1998 she married SF writer and physicist Charles Sheffield, who died of a brain tumor five years later. In 2011 she married SF writer Jack Skillingstead.

Over the course of her life, Nancy has held many jobs: waitress, fourth-grade teacher, college lecturer, senior copyeditor at an ad agency.  In addition to writing, Nancy often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig.  In January, 2017, she taught a week-long writing workshop in Beijing. Her previous trip to China, as a guest at the 2007 International Science Fiction Conference in Chengdu, gave her the opportunity to hold a panda.  Every summer, she teaches a two-week intensive SF-writing course, Taos Toolbox, with Walter Jon Williams, high in the mountains of New Mexico.

A full-time writer for over twenty-five years, Nancy and Jack now live in Seattle with Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.  Nancy enjoys chess, which she plays with, alas, more enthusiasm than skill.

She is absolutely delighted to be a Guest of Honor at Worldcon, an honor she did not expect.