Cover image for Probability moon
Probability moon
Kress, Nancy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : TOR, 2000.
Physical Description:
334 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



Humankind has expanded out into interstellar space using star gates-technological remnants left behind by an ancient, long-vanished race. But the technology comes with a price. Among the stars, humanity encountered the Fallers, a strange alien race bent on nothing short of genocide. It's all-out war, and humanity is losing.
In this fragile situation, a new planet is discovered, inhabited by a pre-industrial race who experience "shared reality"-they're literally compelled to share the same worldview. A team of human scientists is dispatched-but what they don't know is that their mission of first contact is actually a covert military operation.
For one of the planet's moons is really a huge mysterious artifact of the same origin as the star gates . . . and it just may be the key to winning the war.

Author Notes

Nancy Kress is an author who won Best Novella at the Nebula Awards 2014 for her title Yesterday's Kin.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Kress' new novel may not be as magisterial as her Beggars trilogy, yet in its own way, it is as successful and definitely a new departure for her, too. In the far future, humanity is capable of interstellar travel, thanks to the discovery of devices left behind by a long-vanished alien race. Now humans discover that they share the cosmos with at least two living alien races, one fiercely warlike and uncommunicative, the other apparently humanoid and truthful. Scientists sent to make contact with the truth tellers discover that they are actually on a covert intelligence mission charged with investigating a possibly vital artifact of the vanished aliens; to wit, an artificial moon of the truth tellers' planet. And then the hostile aliens appear. The climax of the book is a four-way conflict among the scientists, the two alien races, and the scientists' military superiors, each charging from a different corner, so to speak. Kress' characterizations are as sound as ever, but many will be agreeably surprised at her proficiency with military hardware and action scenes. Very impressive. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Best known for novels that carefully extrapolate near-future medical and social trends, Kress (Stinger) here tells a tale of interplanetary adventure centered in anthropology and physics. Humanity has begun to explore the stars using "space tunnels" created by an unknown alien race. Life turns out to be common on other planets, but surprisingly, most of it is related to us, the products of an experiment carried out by the race that built the tunnels. Only one truly alien species, the Fallers, has been discovered, and they are implacably hostile to humanity. As the novel opens, Earth has sent a starship to a planet whose inhabitants call it World. The expedition's ostensible purpose is anthropological, to study the natives' unique psychic "shared reality," a complex net of mutual understandings that makes lying and large-scale violence virtually impossible. In actuality, however, the expedition has a darker purpose. Earth's military forces have discovered that one of World's moons is an artifact apparently left by the creators of the tunnels, and they think it may be a powerful weapon to use against the Fallers. As the military probe the artifact, the anthropologists on the planet begin to realize the trouble they'll be in if they can't convince the usually peaceful natives that both groups share the same reality. Kress does a good job of working out the ramifications of her shared-reality society, but her human characters lack the depth of those in her best work, the Beggars trilogy; her military figures in particular are thinly drawn. And the physics, although interesting, is introduced in large, sometimes indigestible chunks that slow the plot to a crawl. This is solid SF, but Kress has written better. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

To avoid violating the global phenomenon of "shared reality" experienced by the people of the planet World, a scientific research team must tread a delicate path between truth and lies. When the knowledge of a secret military mission involving one of the World's seven moons becomes public information, the scientists find themselves trapped on a planet suddenly turned hostile. The author of Maximum Light blends a taut story of survival and culture shock with a thoughtful exploration of the nature of human consciousness in a novel that belongs in most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Probability Moon By Nancy Kress syndetics rebuild fake co name ISBN: 9780312874063 PROBABILITY MOON PROLOGUE LOWELL CITY, MARS T he aide materialized beside General Stefanak at a most inconvenient moment. The girl with him was too schooled to react; she'd been with her company for two years now, and it was the most popular and discreet first-class company on Titan. The girl took no notice of the intrusion, but the general lost his erection. "I'm so sorry, sir," the holo said, averting Malone's eyes, "but there is a level-one message:" "You are not to blame," the general said ritualistically. "One moment." The girl was already pulling on her dress, eyes properly downcast. She would, of course, be paid anyway. Stefanak put on a robe and bowed to her; she returned the gesture and left through the side door. Her long black hair flowed down her back, the ends glowing with tiny holographic beads. There had been nothing holographic about the rest of her. This level-one had better be important. He walked into his outer office and waited for Malone, who probably had to travel across the base from Communications. Level-one messages were physically encoded and hand carried. This one must have just come through a few momentsago. While he waited, Stefanak poured himself a drink, thinking about the girl. Maybe he needed his hormone levels adjusted again. He wasn't eighty anymore. Malone appeared with the communication cube, bowed, and left. Stefanak activated the security shield. While it was on, nothing could enter or leave his quarters. No electromagnetic radiation, no compression waves, no air, not even neutrinos. Then he switched on the cube, using level-one protocols. It was from a recon team to a remote and unimportant planet, funded and mounted by soft-science professors at Princeton University, for the usual squishy "research." But every recon team had a line-rank military representative on it. Usually junior officers fought not to go on recon. Usually it was an E-year of irrelevant boredom on primitive planets, most of them uninhabited. Not this time. Stefanak viewed the cube once, and then again. He sat thinking for a full five minutes, very carefully. The Zeus was available, or could be made available, without attracting significant attention. A command-level line officer could not be made available, but there were ways around that. Physicists ... leave that to Malone. But maybe the whole mission could be made to look like just another low-priority scholarly expedition. Yes. Salernos would be the one to arrange that, she had plausible contacts ... When Stefanak finished his planning, he released the security shield. Malone waited outside. The general told him to put together an immediate meeting with the Solar Alliance Defense Council, highest-ranking officers only, all participating governments urged most strongly to attend. This might change everything. Copyright © 2000 by Nancy Kress Excerpted from Probability Moon by Nancy Kress All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher. Excerpted from Probability Moon by Nancy Kress All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.