Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fire Watch by Connie Willis (1985)

I am pretty sure I got this copy of Fire Watch by Connie Willis (1985) from the lovely St. Murse before his big move out of state. I am a little surprised I'd never read any Willis before -- she is a prominent and prolific author of just the kind of Ray Bradburyish, feminist without beating you over the head with it, science fiction that I really love. I'm so glad that I finally got this introduction to her!

The stories in this collection cover some familiar sci-fi tropes (time travel, other planets, apocalyptic futures) but with a focus on character and humanity that is missing in some science fiction. My favorite story might be "All My Darling Daughters," set in an extraterrestrial boarding school for the daughters of wealthy men who donate sperm to unknown surrogates in order to create heirs who they don't meet until they've grown up. Our narrator is a bad little rich girl (with a really great Clockwork Orange kind of vocabulary) who is used to getting high and having sex with all the boys, but who finds her sex life thwarted when the boys come back from vacation with freaky little ferret things with obscenely prominent vaginas. I'm not sure what you envision happening next, but I can pretty much guarantee that it isn't what you expect.

This is definitely the kind of science fiction that would appeal to readers who don't think that sci-fi is their thing. Highly recommended.


CC said...

This book sounds very cool. If John St. Denis doesn't mind, maybe I could borrow it next?

Spacebeer said...

Sure thing!

sarala said...

I enjoyed very much her two volume series Blackout and All Clear. Time travel during the London blitz.
Great blog.