Synopses & Reviews
Few authors have had careers as successful as that of Connie Willis. Inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and recently awarded the title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Willis is still going strong. Her smart, heartfelt fiction runs the gamut from screwball comedy to profound tragedy, combining dazzling plot twists, cutting-edge science, and unforgettable characters.
From a near future mourning the extinction of dogs to an alternate history in which invading aliens were defeated by none other than Emily Dickinson; from a madcap convention of bumbling quantum physicists in Hollywood to a London whose Underground has become a storehouse of intangible memories both foul and fair — here are the greatest stories of one of the greatest writers working in any genre today.
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.
“Ranging from the hilarious to the profound, these stories show the full range of Willis’ talent for taut, dazzling plots, real science, memorable characters, penetrating dialogue and blistering drama — and may guide inquisitive readers toward her equally accomplished and acclaimed novels.” Kirkus Reviews
“In her humble and reflective introduction to this collection, spanning twenty-five years of Hugo and Nebula Award–winning short fiction, Willis describes how she fell so ‘madly in love’ with sf short stories in her youth that she’s still writing them forty years later. Her passion comes through in the vision and variety represented in this collection, from haunting futures...to wryly funny portrayals of scientists, academics, and aliens....This is the essential Willis collection.” Booklist
“The Best of Connie Willis feels like an awfully short and spare title for such a wide-ranging imagination. After all, the ten stories in this collection include both one of the most poignant World War II time-travel tales and, I feel completely confident in writing this, the greatest alien-first-contact-at-Christmas story ever....[Willis] is an excellent gateway writer for readers new to SFF. Her stories are about what people do when they find themselves in extreme, challenging or surprising situations....Thank goodness [for] Connie Willis, who says many things that desperately need saying in more than one delightful way.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“This anthology demolishes any attempt to pigeonhole SFWA Grand Master and Science Fiction Hall of Famer Willis. Her six Nebula Awards and ten Hugo Awards confirm her eminence in speculative fiction, but her versatile range and forthright wit wouldn’t be out of place in the literary mainstream.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Connie Willis, a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, has received seven Nebula awards and eleven Hugo awards for her fiction; Blackout and All Clear, a novel in two parts, won both. Her other works include Passage, 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.