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' unique public speeches - this is unquestionably the collection of the season, an audiobook 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.
The full list of narrators includes Graham Winton and Suzy Jackson.
©2013 Connie Willis (P)2013 Recorded Books
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"An index for locating stories"
Other reviewers have provided helpful annotations of the stories. This is simply an index of the location of the individual stories on this audiobook for those who need an easy way to locate a particular story. Note that each story is followed by an afterward written by the author; these times include the afterword for each work.
Introduction: 0 – 17:10
A Letter from the Clearys: 17:17 – 50:30
At the Rialto: 50:34 – 1:50:25
Death on the Nile 1:50:32 – 3:01:36
The Soul Selects Her Own Society: 3:01:38 – 3:27
Fire Watch: 3: 27:44 – 5:13:45
Inside Job: 5:13:50 – 8:05:53
Even the Queen: 8:05:56 – 8:50
[INTERRUPTION. excerpt from “The Winds of Marble Arch” 8:50 – 9:02]
Even the Queen Afterword: 9:02 – 9:06:13
The Winds of Marble Arch: 9:06:14 – 11:18:45
All Seated on the Ground 11:18: 47 –
The Last of the Winnebagos 13:59:15 – 16:05:50
Editor’s Note 16:05: 52 – 16:06:27
2006 Worldcon Guest of Honor Speech: 16:06:30 – 16:29:57
Grand Master Backup Speech(never given): 16:30 – 16:42:47
Grand Master Acceptance Speech:16:42:52 – 16: 50:48
"Probably the best short story collection ever"
The title space doesn't allow me to write my whole title: Probably the best short story collection I've ever heard. And certainly the one I've enjoyed the most.
I usually dislike short story collections because they seem to be all depressing and incomplete. These short stories feel just like small, complete books. Connie Willis is so talented and so good at crafting interesting, surprising situations and complex, lifelike characters. I can't get enough.
This collection also includes short messages from the author after each story. I loved these, particularly the one that talked about how she became a successful author. Inspirational and fascinating.
One qualm with the audiobook: My tracks were out of order for parts of two stories--the numbers were in order, but the reading jumped from the end of one story to the middle of "The Winds of Marble Arch" and then put in the afterward to the earlier story before jumping back to the start of the "Winds:. I'm still a little confused about "The first (middle) track I heard form Winds, but since everything else made sense, I didn't worry about it.
"Truly the best of Connie Willis"
I've been a huge fan of Connie Willis since I read Doomsday Book over a decade ago. I've read most of her novels, but never got around to running down her shorter works, which evidently was a huge mistake.I repeatedly found myself laughing, then crying, then laughing again. I can not recommend this collection enough.
"A Bit Too Unusual"
This was my first encounter with this author and she is a bit too "quirky" for my taste, although I do like her humor. I would probably not try another of her books.
Some of the stories were engaging; others not so much.
"The best short stories by a great SF writer"
I think many people like Connie Willis, even if they don't like Science Fiction. She's a very good story teller. Much of her work is almost more historical fiction than science fiction (which may be good for folks who find science fiction too absurd/outlandish). If you are looking to sample the genre, this would be a good place to start. My personal favorites here are Fire Watch, Inside Job, and All Seated on the Ground. I think most fiction fans would find those stories entertaining.
"Not at all what I had hoped for"
I thought I was going to get some great SF short stories. What I got was a long-winded oration from the author about her history and odd things like her relationship to Shakespeare. It took a long time to wade through this (way, way too long) and then the stories were, in my opinion, just so-so. I will not be running to read something from this author again anytime soon.
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