Maximum Light by Nancy Kress

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By the middle of the twenty-first century the worldwide fertility rate has declined nearly eighty percent. No one knows why. Now the average age in the United States is fifty-four, and children are treasured and spoilt by those lucky enough to have them and coveted by the vast majority who can't. Maximum Light is the story of three people from different sections of this very different American society. Nick Clementi is seventy-five years old, a doctor, and an advisor to the Congressional Advisory Committee for Medical Crises. Shana Walders is twenty-six and has just finished her two years in the National Service Corps. Cameron Atuli is twenty-eight, a primcipal dancer with the National Ballet, and has willingly had a portion of his memory removed; what it was and why he did it, he doesn't know. In her last days of National Service, Shana witnesses something so horrible that it is immediately brought to the attention of Clementi's committee, but so shocking that even the committee would like to believe that it can't be true. And what Cameron can't remember may be the key to the mystery.

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About Nancy Kress

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Nancy Kress was born and raised in upstate New York, where she spent most of her childhood either reading or playing in the woods. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree in education, as well as an M.A. in English. While she was pregnant with the second of her two sons, she started writing fiction. She had never planned on becoming a writer, but staying at home full-time with infants left her time to experiment. In 1990 she went full-time as an SF writer. The first thing she wrote in this new status was the novella version of Beggars In Spain, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Award. She is the author of more than twenty books, including more than a dozen novels of science fiction and fantasy, as well as three story collections, and two books on writing. Of her most recent novels, Probability Space (Tor, 2002) won the John W. Campbell Award for Best SF novel. Her short fiction has appeared in all the usual places, garnering her one Hugo and three Nebula Awards. Her work has been translated into Swedish, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Croatian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Greek, Hebrew, and Russian. She is also the monthly "Fiction" columnist for Writer's Digest Magazine and she teaches writing regularly at various places, including Clarion and The Writing Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She currently resides in Rochester, New York.
Published January 15, 1999 by Tor Books. 256 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Later, furious at her rejection by the army, Shana learns whose face the monkeys wore: that of Cameron Atuli, a dancer whose memories have been tampered with.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set in a near-future world beset by a declining birthrate and chemical pollution, where children are cherished not only for their increasing rarity but also for their earning power (a quarter of the American population is over 70), Kress's (Beggar's Ride) new novel finds the Hugo- and Nebula-winn...

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SF Site

Despite fighting his own life-and-death battle, Nick is soon working with Shana to learn the truth.

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SF Site

Nancy Kress Website ISFDB Bibliography SF Site Review: Savior SF Site Review: Probability Moon Interview: Nancy Kress SF Site Review: David Brin's Out of Time: Yanked!

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