GBR #1: Connie Willis


Why Willis Comes First

I fell right out of reading Speculative Fiction for adults, and the world surrounding it, for a few years; why is for another day. One author that did make it into my consciousness, via the fine folks over at Metafilter, was Connie Willis. Her time travel novels are favorites over on the blue, and for very good reason. They are beautiful and heart wrenching betimes, and also funny, which is so very hard to do well. And Willis does funny brilliantly.

She’s first on my Great Balticon Readathon list, though, because I need to tell her to tell her that the jig is, frankly, up. In 2015, she survived being bitten by a bat. She jokingly alluded to vampires, and her relief at not being transformed. Ha ha, Connie. You can’t be transformed into a vampire … if you are ALREADY some kind of supernatural creature! I developed this theory during my research for this Readathon.  I looked at many, many images of Connie Willis. It is obvious that, other than the cleverly recolored hair, the woman has. not. changed.  I offer the following images as evidence:


Connie Willis, Circa 1996



Connie Willis, circa 2016

See what I mean? Unchanged. Something uncanny is afoot!

After the Readathon, in fact, I may go search through historic paintings to see if I can’t spot her. It’s a shame there are no paintings of Shakespeare’s wife. Because I have Suspicions there.


Aside from my fangirling, I discovered that she is a fellow Shakespearian and has in fact one-upped me by naming her daughter Cordelia. I adore this. Also,  I learned that in addition to the rest of her very substantial backlist, Blackout and All Clear exist. And I really want to read them. So my first selection for the Readathon is the Blackout/All Clear combo for Kindle (Two books for $23.98: less than the cost of going to a movie and will last hours longer. Bonus, I can eat this cauliflower I just roasted instead of buying overpriced popcorn. I can’t afford NOT to buy them!). If you have not read the previous books in this series, I highly recommend the award-winning Doomsday Book (funny, but heartbreaking) and To Say Nothing of the Dog (a delightful comedy of manners).

You can find ConnieWillis online or join the Fans of Connie Willis page on Facebook. She’s charming wherever you find her! Also, she’s a fellow chai tea aficionado and can sing in a choir (which I have never managed to do), can smile naturally in every known picture (another skill I don’t have) and has survived being bat-bitten (which I have also never managed to do. I have, however, helped raise an orphaned bat to release to the wild. Sincerely hoping these two events are not related … if so, my most sincere apologies, Connie Willis!) Watch for Connie’s newest book coming in October 2016: Crosstalk



11 thoughts on “GBR #1: Connie Willis

  1. Help an old fogy. How can I link to this? I want it on my website, and actually, on my fb page too. I’ve now got something over 400 ‘friends’, very few of which I asked to be friended-to. People are unexpectedly kind, and a great responsibility, but I’d like to use them to exhibit this really lovely piece of work.


  2. Nance,
    First, totally love this. So cool to see you come out. I’ve known you had talent for decades now. About time you shared with the world. You go, girl!
    Second, FedEx is your friend when you travel. I’ve shipped many a thing home (including dirty clothing) either to make room or because I didn’t have room in my luggage. As you know, I travel with about 45 lbs of equipment. That means all my clothing is in one carry-on case. No room for much else coming home, and I can’t leave expensive sport equipment behind. So…. that’s when you discover the wonders of the cardboard box and 2-5 day ground shipping. WARNING: do NOT try this outside the U.S. unless you don’t care how long things get hung up in Customs. Interesting story there…
    Keep writing! It’s only a gift if it’s shared.

    Liked by 1 person

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