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September 24, 2013 / Leslie

Review: The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories

Best of Connie WillisThe Best of Connie Willis:
Award-Winning Stories
by Connie Willis

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Del Rey
Publish Date: July 9, 2013
Format: Hard | 496 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

All ten of the stories gathered here are Hugo or Nebula award winners—some even have the distinction of winning both. With a new Introduction by the author and personal afterwords to each story—plus a special look at three of Willis’s unique public speeches—this is unquestionably the collection of the season, a book that every Connie Willis fan will treasure, and, to those unfamiliar with her work, the perfect introduction to one of the most accomplished and best-loved writers of our time.

My Thoughts:

For those who enjoy speculative fiction, Connie Willis is a must-read author. Her stories span the range from humor to horror, whimsical to serious. She has written short stories, novellas, novels and a few really long 800-page novels. As the author herself says in the introduction, science fiction isn’t just rockets blasting through space and planets filled with multi-eyed monsters. And I agree, it’s much more than that. It can also be brilliant, thought-provoking, compelling stories with realistic characters.

As a long-time fan of Connie Willis, I had already read several of the stories in this collection. My favorite was Fire Watch, a time-travel story about the Blitz in London, which ultimately inspired the novels Blackout/All Clear. Alternate history, a journey to the afterworld, Emily Dickinson, a bizarre physics convention, and a hysterical send-up on women’s liberation are only a few of the other experiences to be had. There is something for everyone.

I first discovered the delight of a Connie Willis story when I read her novel The Doomsday Book, historical fiction with a science fiction twist: Time-traveling Oxford historians visit a 14th-century English village to conduct research and end up in the middle of the plague. I was hooked!

This book is more than just another collection of award-winning stories. It’s also a great introduction to her work for new readers plus insight into the author’s thoughts in the form of commentary at the end of each story. As someone who is already a fan this was a special treat for me.

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Source: Review copy provided by Del Rey through NetGalley.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Kailana / Sep 24 2013 9:54 am

    I would definitely like to try this out at some point!

    Like

  2. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Sep 24 2013 3:11 pm

    I love Connie Willlis’ books and had temporarily forgotten that this one was releasing so soon. I just went and put it on hold at the library.

    Like

  3. Suko / Sep 24 2013 4:02 pm

    These stories sound incredible, Leslie! Excellent review.

    Like

  4. stacybuckeye / Sep 27 2013 8:51 pm

    I haven’t read Willis yet, but a blogger sent me To Say Nothing of the Dog so I’m excited to give her a try.

    Like

    • Leslie / Sep 27 2013 9:09 pm

      That’s another one of the time-traveling Oxford Historian tales that started with Fire Watch. And another favorite of mine!

      Like

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