Fire Watch by Connie Willis. I can see how this story would have been nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula — excellent message to the story and good ending to the plot — but to win both of them? Bartholomew is supposed to be traveling back in time to St. Paul for his History practicum; he has been preparing for this for four year.
|Published (Last):||12 August 2006|
|PDF File Size:||20.74 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||15.33 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
There are loose themes of women and religion running through the tales Willis helpfully provides short introductions to each story, revealing where some of the ideas came from and her methods of working.
In the main this is a first rate collection. The stories range from dark and disturbing All My Darling Daughters to the light and humorous Blued Moon but all are cleverly conceived and very much character driven.
Where the last two stories dealt obliquely with religious themes, this confronts the subject head-on. The inspiration for this tale comes from the story of Elizabeth Barrett who ran off with Robert browning to escape the tyranny of her father, leaving behind her other sisters. The boys, it transpires, have found a new interest; strange ferret-like creatures called Tessels. Willis skilfully combines comic and witty moments with the subject of incest and the dark and disturbing secret of the Tessels.
Once more, the female characters are centre-stage, with the males pushed firmly into the background. A post-modern look at a fairy tale. Willis explores what happens to the rest of the family when Sleeping Beauty awakes after a hundred years. A post-apocalyptic story focusing on a small girl and her denial of the situation in which the family find themselves.
A wonderful viewpoint to choose from which to tell this tale, and one which makes it all the more poignant and powerful. I have always considered this to be one of the greatest ever Science Fiction stories. I have read it several times and it never ceases to fill me with awe that Willis packs more characterisation, plot, science and background into this short piece than many authors manage in entire novels.
A new piano player arrives at St Pierre on Paylay. St Pierre is a mining town where the miners tap hydrogen from the core of the star. The piano player is not human, however. He is a Mirror, a humanoid species which consciously or unconsciously mimics not only the features of someone else, but their personalities and desires. Every interaction is sublimely plotted and written so that the story unwinds like a piece of clockwork automata, cause and effect building to a powerful end.
The Sidon of the title is a red-furred alien creature, one of which was brought to the star by a miner and which Jewell tried to make a pet of. But Sidons are unpredictable and can never be tamed. After a year of docility it attacked her and scarred her for life… and with that tale, the story begins. A minor piece, again featuring a female protagonist, in this case a young girl, Daisy, who has to come to terms with not only what has happened to the sun, but what has happened to her.
His clone duly turns up, looking nothing like him, and a farce ensues, to the true nature of which the narrator remains oblivious. Willis returns to the religious theme in a tale featuring a female cleric who wishes to have an orang-utan baptised. It raises questions about intelligence and faith, its main target being the absurdity of some Christian ethics, highlighting specifically the issue of whether anyone or any institution has the right to determine who or what does or does not possess a soul.
Something Willis loves to do is construct these complex cause-and-effect tales, in this case a beautifully humorous piece in which a Research facility is firing hydrocarbons into the stratosphere as part of a process to repair the ozone layer. One of the side effects of this is that it makes the moon look blue. Also, we gradually discover, the number of coincidences and peculiar mishaps anyone experiences occasionally, begins to rise. This entry was posted on November 18, by roddywilliams You are commenting using your WordPress.
You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Blog at WordPress. Death Robots From Mars My life in outer space. All My Darling Daughters The inspiration for this tale comes from the story of Elizabeth Barrett who ran off with Robert browning to escape the tyranny of her father, leaving behind her other sisters.
The Father of The Bride A post-modern look at a fairy tale. A Letter from The Clearys A post-apocalyptic story focusing on a small girl and her denial of the situation in which the family find themselves. Daisy, in The Sun A minor piece, again featuring a female protagonist, in this case a young girl, Daisy, who has to come to terms with not only what has happened to the sun, but what has happened to her.
Samaritan Willis returns to the religious theme in a tale featuring a female cleric who wishes to have an orang-utan baptised. Blued Moon Something Willis loves to do is construct these complex cause-and-effect tales, in this case a beautifully humorous piece in which a Research facility is firing hydrocarbons into the stratosphere as part of a process to repair the ozone layer.
Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Flashback - Ian Hocking Rogue Ship - AE van Vogt Earthman, Go Home!
Fire Watch (short story)
Fire Watch is a book of short stories by Connie Willis , first published in , that touches on time travel , nuclear war , the end of the world , and cornball humour. The title story, "Fire Watch", is about a time-travelling historian who goes back to the Blitz in London. He's miffed because he spent years preparing to travel with St. Paul and gets sent to St. Paul's Cathedral in London, instead. David Pringle rated Fire Watch three stars out of four, and described Willis as a "talented new writer". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The story, first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in February ,  involves a time-traveling historian who goes back to the Blitz in London, to participate in the fire lookout at St. Paul's Cathedral. The protagonist has a deep emotional attachment to the Cathedral and is highly devoted to his role in defending it - especially due to his bitter knowledge that St. Paul's would survive the World War II bombings but would be obliterated in a terrorist attack in the protagonist's own time. Although Willis' writing of "Fire Watch" predates the production of Doomsday Book by about a decade, Kivrin Engle, the main character of Doomsday Book , also appears as a minor character in "Fire Watch". The novelette references Engle's experience with the Black Plague while time-traveling in the 14th century. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.