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Blackout by Connie Willis
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2,1331543,068 (3.85)349
Authors:Connie Willis
Info:Spectra (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, Hugo winner novel, Nebula winner novel

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Blackout by Connie Willis

Recently added bythelistener, sudsyswish, dcunning11235, MaryPieroCarey, Zkochaji, private library
  1. 170
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (loriephillips)
  2. 140
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  3. 60
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  4. 30
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  5. 20
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    Navarone: Both books are about time travel and how the future is affected due to the actions you make.
  6. 01
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    becksdakex: Time travel, WWII, Change history?

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» See also 349 mentions

English (152)  Polish (1)  German (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
A real page turner about time traveling to 1940 London.

http://nicolewbrown.blogspot.com/2015/02/blackout-by-connie-willis.html ( )
  nicolewbrown | Aug 29, 2016 |
Profoundly moving, our time travelling historians suffering with the people of England stoically facing up to the death and carnage of the Second World War and the Blitz. This really seems to capture something of how Englishmen and women must have been in the teeth of so much fear, loss and uncertainty, but somehow avoids saccharine over romanticism - she really strikes a convincing genuine note throughout. ( )
  Matt_B | Jul 16, 2016 |
Blackout – Connie Willis
Audio performance by Katherine Kelligren
4 stars

Important vocabulary for time traveling historians:

The Net – the time portal technology which allows Oxford historians of 2060 to study high points of history; such as the Dunkirk evacuation and the London Blitz

A Drop - a predetermined safe location for the time traveling historian to enter The Net to go back to the future

Slippage – a discrepancy in the desired time and/or place of arrival; when a time traveler does not arrive as planned; it is understood that slippage has occurred to avoid a time paradox

Law One of time travel: Slippage will prevent time travelers from having any significant impact on history.
(Of course it will….but what if it doesn’t ? What if.. what if… what if….)
Law Two of time travel: A traveler may not may not occupy the same place in history more than once..

Three historians, two women and one man travel back to WWII England to observe the ‘contemps’ in their darkest hour. All three find that their carefully laid plans are useless when set against the war’s realities. And they get stuck there. There are several different time lines. There are lots of bombs. There are many, many cliff-hanger near misses. It’s complicated.

I’ve read two previous books in this series; The Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. I liked them, and they annoyed me. I had a similar experience with this book. I enjoyed the many colorful ‘contemp’ characters, especially Alf and Binny. I thought the historical detail and description were outstanding. The endless circular, second-guessing, self-talk of the time traveling characters drove me up the wall. I must have found more enjoyment than annoyance in this book experience, because I did read the next one.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Readers new to Connie Willis will probably not enjoy her time traveling chaos, even though it is extremely well-written. Fans of The Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and Fire Watch (like myself) will probably be thrilled to read another volume about Mr. Dunworthy’s harried interns from Oxford and all of their bizarre adventures in World War II England.

I suspect that all of the threads will be tied up in the sequel, All Clear, and Willis’s subtle genius will be revealed – I love her way of dropping clues in the midst of the overwhelming, often hilarious, red tape of ordinary life.

I have always thought that Willis’s stories are intentionally circular and frustrating - to demonstrate the sheer absurdity of the situations the characters are in, and to shine a light on the Dilbert-esque qualities of bureaucracy. However, the ending to this one does not seem the least bit intentional. I felt as if someone had sawed my book in half.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
The first third of the book was slow going. But once the different storylines and characters were established it got very interesting. I'm very eager to read the sequel. ( )
  bradylouie | Apr 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Science fiction and the historical novel only seem to be utter opposites. I mean, future vs. past, right? In fact, the two genres are closely related. Both transport the reader to strange, disorienting worlds, where the people, beliefs and social norms are often distinctly alien to a present-day sensibility.

In certain kinds of time-travel stories, it's often difficult to tell the two genres apart. Is "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" historical fiction or proto science fiction? Certainly, Connie Willis's new novel, her first since "Passage" (2001), about near-death experiences, is as vivid an evocation of England during World War II as anyone has ever written. It's also indisputably science fiction. . . .

If you're a science-fiction fan, you'll want to read this book by one of the most honored writers in the field (10 Hugos, six Nebulas); if you're interested in World War II, you should pick up "Blackout" for its you-are-there authenticity; and if you just like to read, you'll find here a novelist who can plot like Agatha Christie and whose books possess a bounce and stylishness that Preston Sturges might envy.

That said, "Blackout" does end with a cliffhanger, which may leave some readers dissatisfied: The whole story won't be completely resolved till October when Ballantine/Spectra publishes a second and concluding volume titled "All-Clear." Still, this is Connie Willis, my friends, which means she's worth reading now, and she's worth reading in the future.
What she's also able to do is to play her reader like a newly tuned piano. Scenes that could be milked for every last mawkish drop somehow get around your defenses and wring out your heart.

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connie Willisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brock, ChalresCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brook, CharlesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, SteveText Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Omori, N.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, J.K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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History is now and England. - T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
To Courtney and Cordelia, who always do far more than their bit.
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Colin tried the door, but it was locked.
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Book description
In Oxford, 2060, time-traveling historians are sent into the past so they can learn more about the events that have shaped world history, and as a new group of historians, including Merope, Michael, and Polly, travel back to World War II, they find that instead of being simple observers, their assignments are causing history to spin out of control.
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When a time-travel lab suddenly cancels assignments for no apparent reason and switches around everyone's schedules, time-travelling historians Michael, Merope, and Polly find themselves in World War II, facing air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, rationing, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history.… (more)

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