Connie Willis at WonderCon, 2017
|Born||Constance Elaine Trimmer|
December 31, 1945
Denver, Colorado, US
|Alma mater||Colorado State College|
|Genre||Science fiction, social satire, comedy of manners, comic science fiction|
|Subject||Time travel; War, especially World War II; Heroism; Courtship; Mores|
|Literary movement||Savage Humanism|
|Notable works||Doomsday Book , To Say Nothing of the Dog , Blackout/All Clear , "The Last of the Winnebagos"|
|Notable awards||Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and others|
Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis (born December 31, 1945), commonly known as Connie Willis, is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards for particular works—more major awards than any other writer—most recently the "Best Novel" Hugo and Nebula Awards for Blackout/All Clear (2010). She was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Science Fiction Writers of America named her its 28th SFWA Grand Master in 2011.
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.
The Hugo Awards are a set of literary awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992. Organized and overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention as the central focus of the event. They were first given in 1953, at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Over the years that the award has been given, the categories presented have changed; currently Hugo Awards are given in more than a dozen categories, and include both written and dramatic works of various types.
Several of her works feature time travel by history students at a faculty of the future University of Oxford—sometimes called the Time Travel series.They are the short story "Fire Watch" (1982, also in several anthologies and the 1985 collection of the same name), the novels Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog (1992 and 1997), as well as the two-part novel Blackout/All Clear (2010). All four won the annual Hugo Award but Doomsday Book and Blackout/All Clear won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Time travel is a widely-recognized concept in philosophy and fiction. The idea of a time machine was popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine.
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
"Fire Watch" is a science fiction novelette by American writer Connie Willis. The story, first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine in February 1982, involves a time-traveling historian who goes back to the Blitz in London, to participate in the fire lookout at St. Paul's Cathedral.
Willis is a 1967 graduate of Colorado State College, now the University of Northern Colorado, where she completed degrees in English and Elementary Education. [ citation needed ]She lives in Greeley, Colorado, with her husband Courtney Willis, a former professor of physics at the University of Northern Colorado. They have one daughter, Cordelia.
The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a public research university in Greeley, Colorado. The university was founded in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado and has a long history in teacher education. Approximately 12,000 students are enrolled in six colleges. Extended campus locations in are in Loveland, Denver, and Colorado Springs. UNC’s 19 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics.
Greeley is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Weld County, Colorado, United States. Greeley is in northern Colorado and is situated 49 miles (79 km) north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to a July 2015 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the city is 100,883, and a 2014 population estimate made Greeley the 12th-most populous city in Colorado. Greeley is a major city of the Front Range Urban Corridor.
Willis's first published story was "The Secret of Santa Titicaca" in Worlds of Fantasy , Winter 1970 (December).At least seven stories followed (1978–81) before her debut novel, Water Witch by Willis and Cynthia Felice, published by Ace Books in 1982. After receiving a National Endowment for the Arts grant that year, she left her teaching job and became a full-time writer.
Cynthia Felice is an American science fiction writer. She is best known for her complex, carefully plotted stories and expansive universes.
Ace Books is an American specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books. The company was founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn and began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns. It soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction (sf) title in 1953. This was successful, and science fiction titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns within a few years. Other genres also made an appearance, including nonfiction, gothic novels, media tie-in novelizations, and romances. Ace became known for the tête-bêche binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this "Ace Double" format, and Ace continued to issue books in varied genres, bound tête-bêche, until 1973.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA has its offices in Washington, D.C. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, as well as the Special Tony Award in 2016.
Scholar Gary K. Wolfe has written, "Willis, the erstwhile stand-up superstar of SF conventions – having her as your MC is like getting Billy Crystal back as host of the Oscars – and the author of some of the field's funniest stories, is a woman of considerably greater complexity and gravity than her personal popularity reflects, and for all her facility at screwball comedy knock-offs and snappy parody, she wants us to know that she's a writer of some gravity as well."
Gary K. Wolfe is an American science fiction editor, critic and biographer. He is an emeritus Professor of Humanities in Roosevelt University's Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies.
Science fiction conventions are gatherings of fans of the speculative fiction genre, science fiction. Historically, science fiction conventions had focused primarily on literature, but the purview of many extends to such other avenues of expression as films, television, comics, animation, and games.
William Edward Crystal is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s and 80s for television roles as Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap and as a cast member and frequent host of Saturday Night Live. He then became a Hollywood film star during the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the critical and box office successes The Princess Bride (1987), Throw Momma from the Train (1987), When Harry Met Sally... (1989), City Slickers (1991), Mr. Saturday Night (1992) and Analyze This (1999), and providing the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters, Inc. films starting in 2001.
Willis is known for writing "romantic 'screwball' comedy in the manner of 1940s Hollywood movies."
Much of Willis's writing explores the social sciences. She often weaves technology into her stories in order to prompt readers to question what impact it has on the world. For instance, Lincoln's Dreams plumbs not just the psychology of dreams, but also their role as indicators of disease. The story portrays a young man's unrequited love for a young woman who might or might not be experiencing reincarnation or precognition, and whose outlook verges on suicidal. Similarly, Bellwether is almost exclusively concerned with human psychology.
Other Willis stories explore the so-called "hard" sciences, following in the classic science fiction tradition. "The Sidon in the Mirror" harks back to the interplanetary and interstellar romanticism of the 1930s and 1940s. "Samaritan" is another take on the theme of Heinlein's "Jerry Was a Man", while "Blued Moon" is similarly reminiscent of Heinlein's "The Year of the Jackpot".
At the 2006 Hugo Awards ceremony, Willis presented writer Harlan Ellison with a special committee award. When Ellison got to the podium Willis asked him "Are you going to be good?" When she asked the question a second time, Ellison put the microphone in his mouth, to the crowd's laughter. He then momentarily put his hand on her left breast.Ellison subsequently complained that Willis refused to acknowledge his apology.
Willis is a Christian. In 1996, Willis wrote, "I sing soprano in a Congregationalist church choir. It is my belief that everything you need to know about the world can be learned in a church choir."
De Lint, Charles (Aug 2000). "Review of Miracle and other Christmas stories". Books to Look For. F&SF . 99 (2): 22–25.
Vernor Steffen Vinge is an American science fiction author and retired professor. He taught mathematics and computer science at San Diego State University. He is the originator of the technological singularity concept and perhaps the first to present a fictional "cyberspace". He has won the Hugo Award for his novels and novellas A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), Rainbows End (2006), Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002), and The Cookie Monster (2004).
John Kessel is an American author of science fiction and fantasy. He is a prolific short story writer, and the author of four solo novels, Good News From Outer Space (1989), Corrupting Dr. Nice (1997), The Moon and the Other (2017), and Pride and Prometheus (2008), and one novel, Freedom Beach (1985) in collaboration with his friend James Patrick Kelly. Kessel is married to author Therese Anne Fowler.
Kate Wilhelm was an American author. She wrote novels and stories in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres, including the Hugo Award–winning Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and she established the Clarion Workshop with her husband Damon Knight and writer Robin Scott Wilson.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman is an American fantasy, science fiction and horror writer.
Fire Watch is a book of short stories by Connie Willis, first published in 1984, that touches on time travel, nuclear war, the end of the world, and cornball humour.
Paolo Tadini Bacigalupi is an American science fiction and fantasy writer.
The New Hugo Winners was a series of books which collected science fiction and fantasy short-form works that had recently won a Hugo Award for best Short Story, Novelette or Novella. Published by Baen Books, the series succeeded Doubleday's The Hugo Winners following that series' discontinuation after volume five. The New Hugo Winners ran for four volumes, published in 1989, 1992, 1994, and 1997, together collecting stories that had won the award from 1983 to 1994. The first two volumes were edited by Isaac Asimov. Due to Asimov's death in April 1992, the third volume was edited by Connie Willis and the fourth by Greg Benford.
The Nebula Awards #18 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by American writer Robert Silverberg. It was first published in hardcover by Arbor House in October 1983; a paperback edition with cover art by Gary LoSasso was issued by Bantam Books in September 1984.
Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Terry Carr, the fourteenth volume in a series of sixteen. It was first published in paperback by Tor Books in July 1985, and in hardcover and trade paperback by Gollancz in October of the same year, under the alternate title Best SF of the Year #14.
The 1983 Annual World's Best SF is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha, the twelfth volume in a series of nineteen. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in May 1983, followed by a hardcover edition issued in September of the same year by the same publisher as a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. For the hardcover edition the original cover art was replaced by a new cover painting by Richard Powers.
The 1985 Annual World's Best SF is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha, the fourteenth volume in a series of nineteen. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in June 1985, followed by a hardcover edition issued in September of the same year by the same publisher as a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. For the hardcover edition the original cover art by Frank Kelly Freas was replaced by a new cover painting by Richard Powers.
The Best Science Fiction of the Year #12 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Terry Carr, the twelfth volume in a series of sixteen. It was first published in paperback by Pocket Books in July 1983, and in hardcover by Gollancz in the same year.
Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year #15 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Terry Carr, the fifteenth volume in a series of sixteen. It was first published in paperback by Tor Books in August 1986 and in hardcover and paperback by Gollancz in October of the same year, under the alternate title Best SF of the Year #15.
Nebula Awards 33 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Connie Willis. It was first published in hardcover and trade paperback by Harcourt Brace in April 1999.
Nebula Awards 28 is an anthology of award winning science fiction short works edited by James Morrow, the third of three successive volumes under his editorship. It was first published in hardcover and trade paperback by Harcourt Brace in April 1994. The book has also been translated into Polish.
Nebula Awards 23 is an anthology of award winning science fiction short works edited by Michael Bishop, the first of three successive volumes under his editorship. It was first published in hardcover and trade paperback by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in April 1989.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. It was first published in trade paperback by Pyr in May 2012.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Catherine Asaro. It was first published in trade paperback by Pyr in May 2013.
Meet the Savage Humanists: the hottest science-fiction writers working today. They use SF's unique powers to comment on the human condition in mordantly funny, satiric stories... In these pages, you'll find the top names in the SF field: including...Connie Willis (The Doomsday Book)...
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