The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories
by Connie Willis
Review by Steve Sawicki
Del Rey Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345540645
Date: 09 July 2013 List Price $27.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Connie Willis is one of the masters of American short fiction. That her writing so often is in the genres of the fantastic is a bonus for those of us who haunt those sections of the bookstores. Willis has won awards: Grand Master, Nebulas, Hugos, and most more than once. This collection contains ten stories, all winners of either the Hugo or Nebula along with three of Willis's speeches. Each of the stories also comes with an afterward where Willis talks about how the story got written as well as some of the particulars internal to the tale. It can be interesting stuff, particularly when it hints at the writer themselves not particularly being fully aware of nuance.
Connie Willis is a treasure who just happens to tell a mean story. She has incredible range which is effectively shown within this collection. Willis is the kind of writer who produces the kind of work that draws one into a genre, or reconfirms that one's presence in the genre is justified, or produces something that can be pointed to as being worthy of being shared. Willis is a writer first and that she has chosen to spend most of her time in SF and fantasy is to our benefit.
I had read all of these stories, having had a wayward past as a genre magazine reader and it was good to revisit many of them. Like I said above, this is a collection that is easy to point to and say you and you and you should all read this. You should read it and give it to your friends. You should read it and give it to your parents. You should read it and give it to any stranger you see on the bus, the subway, the park, who is also reading. It is that good and it is that highly recommended.