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Encyclopedia > Connie Willis
Connie Willis at Clarion West, 1998
Connie Willis at Clarion West, 1998

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis (born 31 December 1945) is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (800x804, 92 KB) Connie Willis at w:Clarion West 1998. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (800x804, 92 KB) Connie Willis at w:Clarion West 1998. ... Clarion is a six-week workshop for new and aspiring science fiction writers founded by Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945and died 2007 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ...


She has won, among other awards, nine Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for Inside Job (August 2006). She lives in Greeley, Colorado with her husband, a professor of physics at the University of Northern Colorado. She also has one daughter, Cordelia. The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... Greeley is a city in Weld County, Colorado, United States. ... University of Northern Colorado (Northern Colorado) is a baccalaureate (arts, sciences, humanities, business, human sciences, and education), graduate (primarily in the field of education), and research university located in Greeley, Colorado, USA. It has a 2006 enrollment of 13,775 students. ...


Willis is known for her accessible prose and likable characters. She has written several pieces involving time travel and a group of historians based at Oxford in the future. These pieces include her Hugo Award-winning novels Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog and the short story "Fire Watch", found in the short story collection of the same name. She is currently working on another book set in this universe, All-Clear.[1] Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ... The Doomsday Book is a 1992, science fiction novel by American author Connie Willis. ... To Say Nothing of the Dog is a 1997 comedic science fiction novel by Connie Willis. ...

Contents

Writing style

Willis tends to the comedy of manners style of writing, with clear influence from P.G. Wodehouse, to the point where readers might be surprised to find that she is not English. Her protagonists are typically beset by single-minded people pursuing illogical agendas, such as attempting to organize a bell-ringing session in the middle of a deadly epidemic (Doomsday Book), or frustrating efforts to analyze Near-death experiences by putting words in the mouths of interviewees (Passage). Spineless administrators and crackpots are staples of her novels. In contrast, the protagonists and their allies are strong-willed and well-drawn characters, the better to deal with their tormentors. The comedy of manners satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters, such as the miles gloriosus in ancient times, the fop and the rake during the Restoration, or an old person pretending to be young. ... Called English literatures performing flea, P. G. Wodehouse, pictured in 1904, became famous for his complex plots, ingenious wordplay, and prolific output. ... The Doomsday Book is a 1992, science fiction novel by American author Connie Willis. ... Ascent in the Empyrean (Hieronymus Bosch) A near-death experience (NDE) is an experience reported by a person who nearly died, or who experienced clinical death and then revived. ... Passage is a novel by Connie Willis published in 2001. ...


Other themes and stylistic devices include:

  • a scientist practicing actual science as protagonist (the main theme of Bellwether, but also present in Uncharted Territory, Passage, and – to a lesser degree – the Fire Watch universe stories)
  • an aversion to rampant political correctness (notably the over-appreciation of indigenous cultures in Uncharted Territory, anti-smoking stances in Bellwether, censorship of "addictive substances" in Remake)
  • the inclusion of meticulously researched, detailed trivia related tangentially or symbolically to the narrative (fads in Bellwether, mating customs in Uncharted Territory, old movies in Remake, the Titanic disaster in Passage)
  • the constant presence of trying to come to terms with grief, loss, and death; this is often attributed to her mother having died while Willis herself was still a child.

Willis is acclaimed as a science-fiction writer, most often exploring the "soft" or social sciences. She subtly and skillfully weaves technology into her stories only to prompt readers to question what impact it has on the world. For instance, Lincoln's Dreams plumbs not just the psychology of dreams, but also their role as indicators of disease. The story portrays a young man's unrequited love for a young woman who might or might not be experiencing reincarnation or precognition, and whose outlook verges on suicidal. Similarly Bellwether is almost exclusively concerned with human psychology. Bellwether a novel by Connie Willis is a comedy, a fairy tale, a romance, and presents an unsettling concept of human culture. ...


Among other themes, Uncharted Territory contemplates the extent to which technology shapes expectations of gender; "technology" here, by the way, ranges from a land rover and binoculars to Bult's online "chopping" and the pop-up holograms--even socioexozoology. Remake embraces old movies and the computer graphics revolution, as well as intellectual property, digital copyright issues, and the question of public domain. Willis is a master at evoking nostalgia and then wryly poking fun at it. She doesn't shy away from the tough questions: are we sacrificing any of our humanity in adopting and adapting to technological advancement, and if so, can that be termed progress?


Other Willis stories explore the so-called "hard" sciences, following in the classic science fiction tradition. "The Sidon in the Mirror" harks back to the interplanetary and interstellar romanticism of the 1930s and 1940s. "Samaritan" is another take on the theme of Heinlein's "Jerry Was a Man", while "Blued Moon" is similarly reminiscent of Heinlein's "Year of the Jackpot". Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Willis also writes fantasy, as well, and some of her science fiction may stray near fantasy. For instance, Passage only hints at a foundation in reality for the NDE phenomenon. Passage is a novel by Connie Willis published in 2001. ... Ascent in the Empyrean (Hieronymus Bosch) A near-death experience (NDE) is an experience reported by a person who nearly died, or who experienced clinical death and then revived. ...


Awards

Hugo Awards

Wins

  • Fire Watch : novelette : 1983
  • The Last of the Winnebagos : novella : 1989
  • Doomsday Book : novel : 1993
  • Even the Queen : short story : 1993
  • Death on the Nile : short story : 1994
  • The Soul Selects Her Own Society: Invasion and Repulsion: A Chronological Reinterpretation of Two of Emily Dickinson's Poems: A Wellsian Perspective : short story : 1997
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog : novel : 1999
  • The Winds of Marble Arch : novella : 2000
  • Inside Job : novella : 2006

Additional Nominations Even the Queen is a short story by Connie Willis. ...

  • Daisy, In the Sun : short story : 1980
  • The Sidon in the Mirror : novelette : 1984
  • Blued Moon : novelette : 1985
  • Spice Pogrom : novella : 1987
  • At the Rialto : novelette : 1990
  • Time-Out : novella : 1990
  • Cibola : short story : 1991
  • In the Late Cretaceous : short story : 1992
  • Jack : novella : 1992
  • Miracle : novelette : 1992
  • Remake : novel : 1996
  • Passage : novel : 2002
  • Just Like the Ones We Used to Know : novella : 2004

Nebula Awards

Wins

  • Fire Watch : novelette : 1983
  • A Letter from the Clearys : short story : 1983
  • The Last of the Winnebagos : novella : 1989
  • At the Rialto : novelette : 1990
  • Doomsday Book : novel : 1993
  • Even the Queen : short story : 1993

Additional Nominations A Letter from the Clearys is a short story written by Connie Willis published in the short story collection Fire Watch. ...

  • The Sidon in the Mirror : novelette : 1984
  • Schwarzschild Radius : novelette : 1988
  • Jack : novella : 1992
  • Death on the Nile : novelette : 1994
  • Bellwether : novel : 1998
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog : novel : 1999
  • Passage : novel : 2002
  • Just Like the Ones We Used to Know : novella : 2005

Bellwether a novel by Connie Willis is a comedy, a fairy tale, a romance, and presents an unsettling concept of human culture. ...

World Fantasy Awards

Nominations

  • Chance : novella : 1987
  • The Winds of Marble Arch : novella : 2000

Bibliography

Novels:

Short story collections: Connie Willis brings to her writing a sense of realism and apparently detailed research into historical aspects of her fiction. ... The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel has been awarded every year since 1973, except in 1994. ... The Doomsday Book is a 1992, science fiction novel by American author Connie Willis. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... In this book, Connie Willis displays a dystopic near future, when computer animation and sampling have reduced the movie industry to software manipulation. ... Bellwether a novel by Connie Willis is a comedy, a fairy tale, a romance, and presents an unsettling concept of human culture. ... To Say Nothing of the Dog is a 1997 comedic science fiction novel by Connie Willis. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... Passage is a novel by Connie Willis published in 2001. ...

Short Fiction: Fire Watch is a 1984 book of short stories by Connie Willis that touches on time travel, atomic war, the end of the world, and cornball humour, The title story, Fire Watch, is about a time-travelling historian who goes back to The Blitz in London. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Connie Willis. ... In broadcasting an Omnibus (sometimes called an Omnibus edition) is a compilation of daily episodes that is usually broadcast during the following weekend. ... Connie Willis provides a variety of feelings and experiences. ...

  • Samaritan (1978)
  • Capra Corn (1978)
  • Daisy, in the Sun (1979)
  • And Come from Miles Around (1979)
  • The Child Who Cries for the Moon (1981)
  • Distress Call (1981)
  • A Letter from the Clearys (1982)
  • Fire Watch (1982)
  • Service For the Burial of the Dead (1982)
  • Lost and Found (1982)
  • The Father of the Bride (1982)
  • Mail Order Clone (1982)
  • And Also Much Cattle (1982)
  • The Sidon in the Mirror (1983)
  • A Little Moonshine (1983)
  • Blued Moon (1984)
  • Cash Crop (1984)
  • Substitution Trick (1985)
  • The Curse of Kings (1985)
  • All My Darling Daughters (1985)
  • And Who Would Pity a Swan? (1985)
  • With Friends Like These (1985)
  • Chance (1986)
  • Spice Pogrom (1986)
  • The Pony (1986)
  • Winter's Tale (1987)
  • Schwarzchild Radius (1987)
  • Circus Story (1987)
  • Lord of Hosts (1987)
  • Ado (1988)
  • The Last of the Winnebagos (1988)
  • Dilemma (1989)
  • Time Out (1989)
  • At the Rialto (1989)
  • Cibola (1990)
  • Miracle (1991)
  • Jack (1991)
  • In the Late Cretaceous (1991)
  • Much Ado About [Censored] (1991)
  • Even the Queen (1992)
  • Inn (1993)
  • Close Encounter (1993)
  • Death on the Nile (1993)
  • A New Theory Explaining the Unpredictability of Forecasting the Weather (1993)
  • Why the World Didn't End Last Tuesday (1994)
  • Adaptation (1994)
  • Uncharted Territory (1994)
  • Remake (1995)
  • The Soul Selects Her Own Society: Invasion and Repulsion: A Chronological Reinterpretation of Two of Emily Dickinson's Poems: A Wellsian Perspective (1996)
  • In Coppelius's Toyshop (1996)
  • Nonstop to Portales (1996)
  • Bellwether (1996)
  • Newsletter (1997)
  • The Winds of Marble Arch (1999)
  • Epiphany (1999)
  • deck.halls@boughs/holly (2001)
  • Roswell, Vegas, and Area 51: Travels with Courtney (2002)
  • Just Like the Ones We Used to Know (2003)
  • Inside Job (2005)
  • D.A. (2006)

Essays A Letter from the Clearys is a short story written by Connie Willis published in the short story collection Fire Watch. ... Uncharted Territory is a science fiction novella by Connie Willis. ...

  • On Ghost Stories (1991)
  • Foreword (1998)
  • Introduction (1999)
  • The Nebula Award for Best Novel (1999)
  • The 1997 Author Emeritus: Nelson Bond (1999)
  • The Grand Master Award: Poul Anderson (1999)
  • A Few Last Words to Put It All in Perspective (1999)

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Connie Willis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (897 words)
Willis is known for her accessible prose and likable characters.
Connie Willis' style in writing tends to the comedy of manners.
Willis is a master at evoking nostalgia and then wryly poking fun at it.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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