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Fire Watch (Oxford Time Travel, #0.5)
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Fire Watch (Oxford Time Travel .5)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  356 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Hardcover, 92 pages
Published October 22nd 2010 by WSFA Press (first published February 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,298)
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Peter Derk
Feb 18, 2012 Peter Derk rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Pretty good book, quick read, all that.

The main thing I wanted to talk about is time travel because I really do want to talk about what I want to talk about. That would make a great chorus for a pop country song.

What's cool about Connie Willis is that, for my money, she handles time travel well. It's not explained in this story, but I had a kindly office mate explain to me that Connie Willis' other books that take place in the same universe involve something called "slippage." Slippage is the th
Nov 17, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
Pretty good short that introduced us to the time-traveling historians of Oxford. When comparing this to Blackout/All Clear, you can really see how much Willis has honed her craft over the years.
This novelette which won the both Hugo and Nebula, serves as a good primer to Connie Willis' works.

I just read To Say Nothing of the Dog a few days ago, so I thought it would be good to read this novelette before reading Doomsday Book.

But my advice to anyone interested in her books would be to start directly with To Say Nothing of the Dog or Doomsday Book. Arguably, these two books could be considered to be her best efforts.
M Hamed
Oct 28, 2015 M Hamed rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, hard-sci-fi
i don't care !
Jul 07, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the best bit of time-travel fiction I've ever read. 'Scuse me while I devour the rest of the series...
Jan 11, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, sci-fi
A great introduction to Willis' Oxford Time Travel series. A short story, this excursion into WWII concisely introduces the ideas, feeling, and ethic of her approach to "History" in a way that converts her readers, rather than just informing them. Which, of course, is the whole point.
Jun 07, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it
Recommended to Scott by: Connie Willis
I read this after I finished Blackout and All Clear. There are some minor discrepancies but nothing that a little willing suspension of disbelief won't cover up. It was nice to see Kivrin again.

I think Connie Willis has it correct. How often have you romanticized about traveling to the past? I never really take into consideration language differences - let alone differences in norms and folkways - in my flights of fancy.

I looked up The Battle of Britain on 29. December 1940 on the internet and f
Sep 15, 2013 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-book-150
This novelette is a tad more techy than the Oxford Time Travel novels, so more satisfying. There were no annoying children--a plus. Willis's talent sparkles most brightly in her shorter works. I chuckled at several points, not a common occurrence for me with the OTT books.

The story is structured kind of like a diary, as we follow Bartholomew on his assignment. It's a very useful frame for a time travel story and the diary-style writing make for a much more intimate view of events.

It's apparent t
Daniel Roy
Sep 24, 2012 Daniel Roy rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, taw-bookclub, novella
I read To Say Nothing of the Dog a few years ago, so Willis' world of time-traveling Oxford historians was already familiar when I began reading Fire Watch. Nevertheless, it's easy to see why this story got Willis so much critical acclaim, and how it spawned a few novels set in the same universe.

In a way, Fire Watch is a story about the relationship between historians and History. It's a plea to look at History closer, to remember the human actors who lived through it instead of the statistics a
May 23, 2016 Hillary rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2012 Suz rated it liked it
Recommended to Suz by: TAW
This was my first Willis read, and I quite enjoyed it. It's a story about time travel, and the main character goes back in time to the Blitz and is put on the fire watch for St. Paul's cathedral (for some kind of Time Travel U degree - it's basically his final exam).

It was good, Willis handles time travel well. Apparently characters from her novels are in this story, so I will look forward to reading it again after I've read those.

I would have probably enjoyed this story more if I hadn't just re
Nov 25, 2014 Hilary rated it really liked it
Fire Watch did an excellent job of establishing the Oxford Time Travel series. It did an even better job of bringing home just how terrifying WWII England was, and how largely damaged and broken London was by the experience. Connie Willis does a beautiful job of bringing morality and feeling back into history, and breathing life into the experiences and statistics so commonly touted about.

It's chilling and heartbreaking, and makes the rest of the series that much more moving to read.
Anastasia Tuckness
Jan 16, 2016 Anastasia Tuckness marked it as to-read
Shelves: sbc-possibility
Published in honor of the author's appearance at the 2010 convention, Capclave.
This story won the 1982 Nebula and 1983 Hugo awards for best novelette.
Jan 06, 2013 Josie rated it really liked it
I just finished #1 of the Oxford Time Travel series, after reading #2 and #3. (Fate would just not let me read this series in order!) Before I started on #2 I decided to read a summery of this novella. But when I search for the summery on online I found a link to the actual book at So, I thought why not?

It's a quick read. It does not give any special insight to any of the other books or characters. After I read the book I realized that I had heard the st
Apr 02, 2015 Matt rated it liked it
Reading her series on time travel and thought I'd read this. Good, but oddly very different in feel from the first book.
Tessa Eger
Nov 30, 2015 Tessa Eger rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
not sure when I read this...
Clayton Yuen
Nov 24, 2013 Clayton Yuen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi
A brilliant story line about time travel and human relationships, beautifully written in Connie Willis' style. Often, her repetitive themes are tedious, but she excels in creating a building adventure with an unknown goal.... sort of a mystery in time.

I give this short story 5 stars for its inventive creative story, Ms Willis' story telling, and the satisfying wrap-up of this long adventure.
Jan 10, 2013 Karmakosmik rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Questo è stato il mio primo approccio con la scrittrice statunitense, anche se iniziare con un antologia di racconti possa risultare poco significativo. Tuttavia, pur con qualche episodio poco riuscito, la Willis mostra il meglio di sè quando deve risultare o apocalittica (Lost & Found; Letter From The Clearys) o condire la sua fantascienza con toni umoristici (The Fire Watch o Blued Moon).
Nix Gerit
Feb 23, 2015 Nix Gerit rated it it was ok
It was ok. I don't really like this period but she wrote a good story, even if I didn't like the writing style of this piece very much.
Feb 10, 2016 Erin rated it liked it
I read a collection of short stories that included Fire Watch. The eponymous story wasn't that interesting yet other stories made a big impact. All My Darling Daughters was emotionally rough and quite different from the other stories. It will certainly stick with me. My favorites were Samaritan, And Come from Miles Around, and The Sidon in the Corner.
May 09, 2016 Chris rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, shortstories
I'm sure Connie Willis has a great following and people love her stories. Her writing style just didn't work for me, though. This short story <100 pages long took me about a week to get through. Her writing style just didn't click with me and it made it hard to tread through.
Britt, Book Habitue
Sep 23, 2013 Britt, Book Habitue rated it it was amazing
This should really be 1.5, because it takes place after Doomsday Book. Kivrin has already gone back to the past.
It was written earlier, though, and there are some discrepancies between it and Doomsday, but it clearly takes place after.
Very interesting, though. :)
Jo Oehrlein
Sep 04, 2013 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
Meant to be read after The Doomsday Book, for certain. Not sure whether it matters whether you read it before Blackout/All Clear or not. It's the same time period as Blackout/All Clear.

It's about what it means to be a historian.
Tommy Howell
Jan 16, 2013 Tommy Howell rated it really liked it
A great start to the Oxford Time Travel series. It lays a lot of the groundwork for the later novels, but clearly predates them with some ideas being refined as the series progressed.
Jan 03, 2014 Jacqueline rated it liked it
Shelves: series, time-travel, 2013
Extra 1/2 star.
Dec 19, 2015 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I read this in The Time Traveler's Almanac. Definitely want to read the rest of the series.
Jan 06, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
Especially interesting if you've read any of the related titles.
Dec 27, 2012 Bryan rated it really liked it
A moving short story of a terrible moment in history.
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Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.

She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Ficti
More about Connie Willis...

Other Books in the Series

Oxford Time Travel (4 books)
  • Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel #1)
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)
  • Blackout (All Clear, #1)
  • All Clear (All Clear, #2)

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