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Nancy Kress
Kress in 2007
Kress in 2007
Born Nancy Anne Koningisor
(1948-01-20) January 20, 1948 (age 74)
Buffalo, New York, US
Pen name Anna Kendall (for fantasy)
Occupation Fiction writer
Nationality American
Period 1976–present
Science fiction
  • Fantasy (as Kendall)
  • Michael Joseph Kress (1973-1984)
  • Marcos Donnelly (1988-1994)
  • Charles Sheffield (1998–2002, his death)
  • Jack Skillingstead (2011–present)

Nancy Anne Kress (born January 20, 1948) 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 became a novel in 1993. She also won the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 2013 for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, and in 2015 for Yesterday's Kin. 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 Clarion writing workshops. During the winter of 2008/09, Nancy Kress was the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany.


Born Nancy Anne Koningisor in Buffalo, New York, she grew up in East Aurora and attended college at SUNY Plattsburgh and graduated with an M.A. in English. Before starting her writing career she taught elementary school and then college English. In 1973, she moved to Rochester to marry Michael Joseph Kress. They had two sons, and divorced in 1984. At that time, she went to work at Stanton and Hucko, an advertising agency. She was married to Marcos Donnelly from 1988 to 1994.

In 1998, she married fellow author Charles Sheffield, who died in 2002 of a brain tumor. Kress moved back to Rochester, New York, to be near her grown children. In 2009, she moved to Seattle. In February 2011, she married author Jack Skillingstead.


Kress tends to write hard science fiction, or technically realistic stories, often set in a fairly near future. Her fiction often involves genetic engineering and, to a lesser degree, artificial intelligence. There are many invented technologies shared between her stories, including "genemod", to refer to genetic engineering, and "foamcast", a lightweight and sturdy building material that appears in many of her novels and short stories.

By conducting extensive research, she keeps her topics within the realm of possibility; however, as Kress clarified for one Locus interviewer, with regards to her partner and fellow science fiction writer, "[Sheffield] pronounces it science fiction, and I pronounce it science fiction."

Kress also loves ballet, and has written stories around it.


  • Nebula Awards
    • Best Short Story winner (1986): "Out of All Them Bright Stars", F&SF March 1985
    • Best Novella (1991): Beggars in Spain (Axolotl Press / Pulphouse Feb. 1991) / Asimov's April 1991
    • Best Novelette (1998): "The Flowers of Aulit Prison", Asimov's Oct./Nov. 1996
    • Best Novella (2007): "Fountain of Age", Asimov's July 2007
    • Best Novella (2012): "After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall", Tachyon Publications
    • Best Novella (2014): "Yesterday's Kin", Tachyon Publications
  • Hugo Award
    • Best Novella (1992): Beggars in Spain (Axolotl Press / Pulphouse Feb. 1991) / Asimov's April 1991
    • Best Novella (2009): "The Erdmann Nexus", Asimov's Oct./Nov. 2008
  • John W. Campbell Memorial Award
    • Best Novel (2003): Probability Space, (Tor Sep. 2002)
  • Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
    • Best Short Science Fiction (1997): "The Flowers of Aulit Prison", Asimov's Oct./Nov. 1996
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