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25% of people buy Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog ~ Paperback / softback ~ Connie Willis.
For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.
But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin -- barely of age herself -- finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.
Five years in the writing by one of science fiction's most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.
Winner Hugo award 1993
Winner Locus Award 1993
Winner Nebula Award 1992
"A tour de force." New York Times Book Review
"A stunning novel that encompasses both suffering and hope.... The best work yet from one of science fiction's best writers."-- The Denver Post
"The world of 1348 burns in the mind's eye, and every character alive that year is a fully recognized being.... It becomes possible to feel...that Connie Willis did, in fact, over the five years Doomsday Book took her to write, open a window to another world, and that she saw something there."-- The Washington Post Book World
"Second solo novel (following Lincoln's Dreams, 1987) from an author best known for her strong stories (the collection Fire Watch, etc.). In the Oxford of Christmas, 2054, time travel is a well- established tool of historical research. Kivrin Engles has labored diligently to acquire the language and practical skills necessary to survive in the 14th century—for her destination is Christmas, 1320. Nearby, an archeological dig is uncovering artifacts from the same period. But problems beset the "drop": Kivrin's schedule is advanced by Gilchrist, the professor in charge (he's more concerned with his reputation than the safety of his researchers) before her immunizations (irritatingly called "inoculations" by Willis) can take full effect; and the technician in charge of the time- calculations, Badri, falls mysteriously ill just as the drop goes ahead. Dunworthy, Kivrin's academic mentor and friend, his place usurped by Gilchrist, suspects something has gone wrong—but the delirious Badri can provide only forbidding hints. Soon a full- blown influenza epidemic is raging. Meanwhile, in the 14th century, Kivrin overcomes initial obstacles (she comes down with the flu; her mental translator doesn't work) to become absorbed in the life and people of a tiny village—in particular she admires Roche, the priest, a simple and illiterate Anglo-Saxon despised by the local Norman aristocracy. But as an enigmatic "blue sickness" takes hold in the village, Kivrin realizes that she's not in 1320 but 1348—the year bubonic plague ravaged England. Soon, the entire village lies dying, nursed only by Kivrin and the saintly Roche, who, ironically, thinks she's a saint sent by God to restorethe faith. Meantime, up in the 21st century, Badri hovers near death; Dunworthy, desperately worried about Kivrin, himself succumbs; plague dominates both centuries. Solid characters, crisp, almost perfect detail, and excellent subplots that maintain the tension at an almost unendurable level. Splendid work—brutal, gripping, and genuinely harrowing, the product of diligent research, fine writing, and well-honed instincts, that should appeal far beyond the usual science-fiction constituency." Kirkus ReviewsAuthor Biography
Connie Willis has won six Nebula Awards (more than any other science fiction writer), six Hugo Awards, and for her first novel, Lincoln's Dreams, John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her novel Doomsday Book won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and her first short-story collection, Fire Watch, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her other works include To Say Nothing of the Dog, Bellwether, Impossible Things, Remake, Uncharted Territory and Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. Ms. Willis lives in Greeley, Colorado, with her family and is hard at work on her next novel, Passage.
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