HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bellwether by Connie Willis
Loading...

Bellwether (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Connie Willis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,032783,293 (3.99)153
Member:klpm
Title:Bellwether
Authors:Connie Willis
Info:Spectra (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 247 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:fiction, science fiction

Work details

Bellwether by Connie Willis (1996)

  1. 42
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Kichererbse)
  2. 10
    So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (mzonderm)
    mzonderm: Both books are interesting commentaries on how fads get started.
  3. 00
    PopCo by Scarlett Thomas (shelfoflisa)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 153 mentions

English (75)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This was given to me eons ago because of how much I love To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. This book has a similar sense of humor that definitely kept me entertained but the plot and backstory that ties it all together didn’t hit quite the same loved it nerve with me.

I loved seeing a book set in the mountain range area of the country (Colorado to be precise). I feel like this doesn’t happen often enough in books. I also found there was a real nostalgia quality to the book because it was first published in 1996 and set in its own time-period, so the whole thing just screamed 90s nostalgia to me. This played in well to Sandra’s fad studies. It gave the book a good reason to notice and talk about the fads, and this held up well over time. What originally was a “oh look at this silly thing people are doing right now” became “hey remember when West Coast coffee was first a thing?” I also really appreciated that a social science was featured at the core of a scifi book. Not just that but a scientist of a science deemed more important and sciencey (chaos theory) ends up working with her and respecting her research and its methods. Super cool.

While I thought the research study was cool, I wasn’t as huge of a fan of the competition to receive the grant of a lifetime plot. I appreciated Sandra working to save her job, but the big grant loomed overhead from the very beginning like a deus ex machina. Sandra’s disdain for her coworkers wanting to ban smoking from the building as a fad really didn’t translate well over time. This wasn’t a fad; it was a public health policy, and it rubbed me wrong every time Sandra implied it was like the whole are eggs good or bad for you debate. Second-hand smoke is just bad for you, and unlike a coworker eating an egg, it can actually impact your health if you’re around it. I’m sure it was funnier in the 90s but it didn’t work so well now, and it honestly made me dislike Sandra a bit.

Overall, scifi fans looking for a humorous plot with a female lead, an unusual focus on the social sciences with a dash of 1990s nostalgia will enjoy this book.

Check out my full review. (Link will be live May 9, 2016).

*initial thoughts*
It was fun but no To Say Nothing of the Dog. ( )
  gaialover | Apr 30, 2016 |
The more I think about this book, the less I know what to think of it. On the one hand it's funny, insightful, entertaining, and satirical... a combination of elements that usually equates to an enjoyable read for me. On the other hand, I found myself irritated at times by the heavy-handed humor and over-done caricatures posing as secondary characters. I guess it all balances out to about a 3-star read for me.

Oh, and the story struck me as a sort of Office Space for research geeks. "You've been missing a lot of work lately, Peter". "I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob". ( )
  ScoLgo | Mar 17, 2016 |
A very different take on marketing and trends than the one presented in William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition!" Still, this book has some similarities: they're both non-sci-fi novels by authors known for their science fiction, and they both deal, thematically, with the human tendency toward ‘fads.' However, where Gibson's character Cayce has an almost psychic attunement to these trends, Willis' narrator is a much less glamorous, stressed-out researcher who's trying to understand how and why trends happen by attempting to track down the source of past fads. Plagued by the uniquely-fashionable but totally incompetent assistant, Flip (who is nearly the exact same character as ‘Bubbles' in Absolutely Fabulous [at least, I kept seeing her]), her work takes her through the maze of academic research institutions, bureaucratic red tape and illogical management, a mysteriously attractive scientist who seems to be immune to trends – to say nothing of the flock of sheep! ;-)
I didn't think this book was quite as good as either of the other Willis books I've read, but it was still definitely a fun and witty read. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This definitely felt like a Connie Willis novel. However, it didn't have much of a plot. I liked it MUCH more once I finished it and saw how everything tied together, but getting there would have been a chore if it hadn't been such a short book. It was repetitive, the protagonist had a single-track mind about her research topic, and at times I wasn't sure if I was reading a novel or non-fiction.

It actually reminded me a lot of Willis' Passage, except missing whatever bit of heart that propelled Passage onto my 5-star list. ( )
  BrookeAshley | Sep 16, 2015 |
Such a fun light read! Full of cute characters, it zipped and zapped and then suddenly I was at the end. Very enjoyable. ( )
  pammab | Aug 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives--
Follwed the Piper for their lives.
From street to street he piped advancing,
And step by step they followed dancing.
robert browning
Dedication
To John
From Abigail

"Yours--yours--yours--"
First words
It's almost impossible to pinpoint the beginning of a fad.
Quotations
"Do you like po-mo pink?" I asked her.
She sighed. "It's the boss color for fall."
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553562967, Mass Market Paperback)

A sociologist who studies fads and a chaos theorist are brought together by a strange misdelivered package. This book has all the wit and clever writing that characterized Willis' earlier Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A romantic comedy on two scientists using the chaos theory to predict fads in our society. They are Sandra and Bennet, working on the premise that a tiny action like the flap of a butterfly's wings in Arizona has an impact on the whole world, perhaps resulting in a hurricane in China. The couple's work on fad-diffusion produces comic as well as tragic results.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
93 wanted2 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.99)
0.5
1 3
1.5 2
2 20
2.5 7
3 140
3.5 54
4 236
4.5 47
5 204

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,249,536 books! | Top bar: Always visible