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All Clear

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All Clear Cover

ISBN13: 9780553592887
ISBN10: 0553592882
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Blackout, award-winning author Connie Willis returned to the time-traveling future of 2060—the setting for several of her most celebrated works—and sent three Oxford historians to World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler’s bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

Now the situation has grown even more dire. Small discrepancies in the historical record seem to indicate that one or all of them have somehow affected the past, changing the outcome of the war. The belief that the past can be observed but never altered has always been a core belief of time-travel theory—but suddenly it seems that the theory is horribly, tragically wrong.

Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, and seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who nurses a powerful crush on Polly, are engaged in a frantic and seemingly impossible struggle of their own—to find three missing needles in the haystack of history.

Told with compassion, humor, and an artistry both uplifting and devastating, All Clear is more than just the triumphant culmination of the adventure that began with Blackout. It’s Connie Willis’s most humane, heartfelt novel yet—a clear-eyed celebration of faith, love, and the quiet, ordinary acts of heroism and sacrifice too often overlooked by history.   

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Winner of the Nebula Award

Traveling back in time, from Oxford circa 2060 into the thick of World War II, was a routine excursion for three British historians eager to study firsthand the heroism and horrors of the Dunkirk evacuation and the London Blitz. But getting marooned in war-torn 1940 England has turned Michael Davies, Merope Ward, and Polly Churchill from temporal tourists into besieged citizens struggling to survive Hitler’s devastating onslaught. And now there’s more to worry about than just getting back home: The impossibility of altering past events has always been a core belief of time-travel theory—but it may be tragically wrong. When discrepancies in the historical record begin cropping up, it suggests that one or all of the future visitors have somehow changed the past—and, ultimately, the outcome of the war. Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the stranded historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, frantically confronts the seemingly impossible task of rescuing his students—three missing needles in the haystack of history. The thrilling time-tripping adventure that began with Blackout now hurtles to its stunning resolution in All Clear.

About the Author

Connie Willis, who was recently inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, has received six Nebula awards and ten Hugo awards for her fiction; her novel Passage was nominated for both. Her other works include Blackout, Doomsday Book, Lincoln’s Dreams, Bellwether, Impossible Things, Remake, Uncharted Territory, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Fire Watch, and Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. Connie Willis lives in Colorado with her family.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Jeffrey Bluhm, March 24, 2014 (view all comments by Jeffrey Bluhm)
Review is for both Blackout and All Clear. Complaints first:
1. More historical fiction than science fiction: There is an underlying time travel/science fiction element to the books, but 95% of the content is about living in England during the years before and during WWII - Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, and the V-1 and V-2 rocket attacks.
2. Total content of the two books is 25-50% too long - for example, when a character is faced with a dilemma, the reader doesn't need to hear them think through every ramification of every option they have, every time; as another example, when our heroes are escaping from a 7-story building, it isn't necessary for the author to take us through every floor, with the thoughts and concerns of each character on each floor.
Overall, however, the books are highly readable, and since many chapters end in cliffhanger fashion, the story does keep one's interest. Characters are likeable and believable. And as historical fiction goes, the information is fascinating - I'm a big fan of history, and these books gave me a comprehensive appreciation of the dangers and sacrifices of the people of Britain during WWII, which lasted much longer for them than it did for American and Americans.
The time travel element is also flawlessly executed, though you should keep the first novel handy as you read the second, to go back and reference chapters that, at the time you first read them, don't seem to fit the story. It's not linear, and keeping notes as to who is who, and when, will serve you well.
So if you dont' mind the occasional thought of "C'mon, get on with it", these can be very enjoyable books.
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abw802, January 20, 2012 (view all comments by abw802)
This book picks up where Blackout left off. I practically read this book in one sitting. I couldn't wait to see whether or not the time travelers, stranded in England during WWII, would make it back to their home time. The characters were well developed and the setting was great. The ending was very satisfying.
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ron else, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by ron else)
Connie Willis' spectacular two-part novel Blackout and All Clear not only teaches you history about England during WWII and the Blitz, but it gives you characters you care about and worry about as you read. Any new story by Ms. Willis is cause for celebration and this two book novel more than meets expectations. And you don't have to just take my word for it, the novels won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Locus Award for best novel. If you haven't read Connie Willis your literary education is missing one of America's greatest living writers.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553592887
Author:
Willis, Connie
Publisher:
Spectra Books
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
656
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1.36 in 1.16 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Award Winners

All Clear Used Trade Paper
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Product details 656 pages Spectra Books - English 9780553592887 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Winner of the Nebula Award

Traveling back in time, from Oxford circa 2060 into the thick of World War II, was a routine excursion for three British historians eager to study firsthand the heroism and horrors of the Dunkirk evacuation and the London Blitz. But getting marooned in war-torn 1940 England has turned Michael Davies, Merope Ward, and Polly Churchill from temporal tourists into besieged citizens struggling to survive Hitler’s devastating onslaught. And now there’s more to worry about than just getting back home: The impossibility of altering past events has always been a core belief of time-travel theory—but it may be tragically wrong. When discrepancies in the historical record begin cropping up, it suggests that one or all of the future visitors have somehow changed the past—and, ultimately, the outcome of the war. Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the stranded historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, frantically confronts the seemingly impossible task of rescuing his students—three missing needles in the haystack of history. The thrilling time-tripping adventure that began with Blackout now hurtles to its stunning resolution in All Clear.

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