Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

June Books 5) Blackout, by Connie Willis

First half of the two-volume novel which won the Nebula last month and has been nominated for the Hugo. We are back in the time travel world of Fire Watch, Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog, where near-future historians at Oxford send graduate students back to key points of British history (though their research methodology is never adequately explained).

The portrayal of wartime Britain is relentless and in the end wearyingly sentimentalised, the history students too busy being caught up in the moment to reflect on what they are doing there and what they might learn. There is an awful lot of running around and missed communication, and then the book ends in mid-story, without even the dignity of a decent cliffhanger, the publisher expecting you to buy the next volume to see how it ends. I will, but will wait until it is available as a second-hand paperback.

I was interested to note however that some of the errors of detail mercilessly catalogued by drplokta here and here seem to have been fixed - in particular, I was looking out for references to the Victoria and Jubilee lines and didn't spot either. The version I have is the free ebook supplied to Hugo voters, so perhaps it has been revised in the year or so since his notes.

Of the time travel stories, this doesn't annoy me as much as Fire Watch, whose errors of setting make it almost unreadable for me, but it is much less enjoyable than To Say Nothing of the Dog and a far less good novel (at least so far) than Doomsday Book. I shall do a post ranking the Hugo nominated novels tomorrow but you can safely assume that this will not be top of my list.
Tags: bookblog 2011, hugos 2011, sf: hugos, sf: nebulas, writer: connie willis
Subscribe

  • Interesting Links for 23-12-2016

    Thirty things you didn't know about the EU referendum Most of this was indeed new to me. (tags: eu brexit ukpolitics ) This is the truth…

  • Interesting Links for 05-05-2016

    Why Republican voters decided on Trump And how @fivethirtyeight got it wrong. (tags: uspolitics ) The elevators of New York Fascinating.…

  • Interesting Links for 04-05-2016

    America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny Gloomy reflections from @sullydish, drawing on Plato. #fb (tags: uspolitics ) Negotiating TTIP…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 3 comments