Reading Recommendation: Steal Across the Sky, by Nancy Kress

This week, I’m at the Rainforest Writer’s Village, mostly writing and doing a little bit of teaching. I’ll also get the chance to learn from Nancy Kress, who is doing two sessions here. So I decided I should read some of her recent long fiction since the last long fiction of hers I remember reading is the Beggars in Spain series. She’s also a master of the short form, so I have enjoyed a lot of her work recently, but for various reasons having everything to do with me, I just haven’t picked up a full-length book of hers for a while.
I was really glad I did.
Nancy Kress’s latest novel feels like very classic science fiction. Like Heinlein or Clarke or Asimov or any of the other great golden age writers. It includes a big new idea, an alien species, other planets, and of course, some just plain fine writing. She makes me believe that aliens came to Earth to atone for doing us a wrong generations ago. There is just enough realistic detail that could exist in the near future that I never question her. I found Steal Across the Sky hit all my science fiction reader feel-good spots – it made me think, it intrigued me, it shed light on us as a society, I believed the characters, and the strong ending felt satisfying. In fact, by about three-quarters through, I just stopped my life to finish it. Not necessarily because of the tension and pacing (those were fine, but I could put it down if I needed to) but I was just having so much fun reading it.


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