Various people on my friends list have greeted with dismay the news that Connie Willis has won this year’s best novel Nebula for All Clear (step forward
I have enjoyed a few works by Willis in the past, but they’ve almost all been her shorts. For me, Fire Watch and Blued Moon are the stand-out shorts.
Her novels have mostly left me underwhelmed, partly because poor research and lazy plotting seem to be her bywords. For example, the farcical bits of To say nothing of the dog work well enough, but I lived in Coventry for long enough to find her descriptions of the city and the cathedrals to be jarringly wrong, with errors that could have been avoided had Willis read any tourist guides. Similarly, Doomsday Book didn’t work for me because the plot around the future epidemic would collapse as soon as someone used a phone or sent an email. I haven’t dared to give it to
The reviews I’ve read so far for Blackout and All Clear have not encouraged me to read either of them (there was a particularly memorable discussion of elementary gaffes in Blackout on