Connie was, as always, her fabulous self. I got distracted by a shiny new friend and completely forgot to go to her reading of Robert Heinlein's GoH speech from 1941, and was sick during her own reading (BUMMER!). However, I did get to hang around and be helpful while she was autographing, and hook my friend metafrantic with the official "I am first in line to see Connie" sign (which just said "Connie Willis", and prompted snarky fans to say things like "Connie, you're looking quite... male... today!").
She is, as always, ever gracious, generous with her time, the delightful kind of crazy, and one of the neatest people I've ever met.
At a recent appearance at BaltiCon over Memorial Day, Connie indicated that her new novel, All Clear, is finally finished and just needs some tweaking before being sent off to the publishers. I hope to find out more details on how and when it will be published. It has taken about six years to write and may be published in multiple volumes.
Connie will be making several appearances this summer, at the Locus Awards this coming weekend in Seattle, at Comic Con International in San Diego, WorldCon in Denver, and a separate signing in Seattle when she is there teaching for the Clarion workshop. Full details on the appearances and other news (including her latest Hugo Award nomination for "All Seated on the Ground" can be found on conniewillis.net .
After she passed last year, I couldn't bear to look them up, but now I think I can.
So, is there a book of hers I should start with? Recommendations and why you like them (without giving away the plot please) would be very appreciated.
My home seems to be inflicted with a Connie Willis-loving gnome. Impossible Things is missing, so is Fire Watch and even the collections Alien sex and Off limits, which include her stories, are gone.
This is not a happy state of affairs 36 hours before I have to finish and record the sci-fi radio show I'm doing while trying to include some discussion about "All my darling daughters" (I do have it in a collection called Future on fire - it says "edited by Orson Scott Card" in big bold letters on the on the cover which is probably what threw the gnome off).
What I need - and desperately hope to get from anyone reading this - is some discussion about the story found in any of these missing books. Specifically from Willis herself. I remember reading it in one of the books - oh 10 years ago or so - but would really appreciate getting the full text.
I've been working for 15 hours straight today - in case anyone's wondering about the rambling.
My mom said that her next novel had something to do with WWII, and that Willis had to do some rewriting after the discovery of a sunken Japanese sub off Pearl Harbour. She heard this from a friend of a friend of Willis, or something.
Er, sounds intriguing, but that was three years ago. I'm still waiting, if impatiently! Does this sound at all familiar to anyone?
I've read To Say Nothing of the Dog, Doomsday Book, Passage, and Bellwether. But I feel like every time I go to Borders or Barnes and Nobles or the library, there is nothing but those four, Lincoln's Dreams (which I totally plan to read but have a stack of books to read about as high as I am tall) and Miracle and Other Christmas Stories (which I am turned off by the title, but that's probably unfair). I really want to read Remake. It's just when I go to the bookstore, I find that there are very few copies of her books, and a very limited number that they keep in stock.
Also, does anyone feel like although her books are mostly science fiction (besides maybe Bellwether) they're not quite science fiction, in that if they were marketed differently, they totally wouldn't be published by Bantam?