Pop culture, chaos theory and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula winning author of Doomsday Book.
Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of
I did enjoy it, all the way through, which is a step up for me when it comes to Connie Willis. (I found The Domesday Book painful when it comes to pacing, but good...more
Some Hi-Tek employees' names are allegories -- one incompetent assistant is named "Desiderata" and another "Flip" (for the frequent flip of her hair, or, as...more
Sandra seems to be on the brink of discovering what causes odd behavior to catch fire and become trendy, but every time she gets close to a breakthrough she is foiled by the chaos of the office and one errand girl in particular.
In Connie Willis’s typical style, characters run around trying to solve problems, just missing each other w...more
it's not popcorn because Willis does an interesting thing: she tells you a lot about chaos theory and statistical analyses while keeping you very, very amused about Cerenkov blue, and Barbies, and sheep.
this novel should be a foundation work for writers studying how to incorporate science into their fiction without being boring about it.
so! the plot. our heroine is a researcher named Sandy. she is studying fads--how they begin, bow they spread, in an effort to un...more
Willis shows a fine understanding of the workplace ethos of the late 1980s, and skewers it masterfully. Her rundown of various fads of the 60s-90s is mostly spot on. But, as in Passages, the "science" that forms the core of the story is utterly sill...more
It's a fun book: Willis is expert...more
Sandra Foster works for a corporation that employs scientists. Honestly, just reading the description of the staff meetings is enough to recommend the book. They are absurdly ridiculous. Sandra's job is to figure out how...more
Bellwether is very much a book of its time, riffing on the same observations as earlier books like Coupland's Generation X. What Willis does well: all o...more
Sandra Foster Is a sociologist working for a high-tech corporation. Her project is to find trigger points for what starts a fad. The idea of course is to make those trigger points work for the company. Because she complained bitterly about an assistant who lost her a grant by losing her application, she ended up with Flip. Of course Flip is worse. Flip misdelivers a package to Sandra...more
While the setting the author invents...more
Plus, there are recalcitrant sheep. Who doesn't want to read a book with recalcitrant sheep?
I'm really glad I checked it out because I enjoyed this story a lot. It was not at all what I was expecting. It's a cute, science-oriented chick flick, more fun than mind-bending. I also enjoyed being "in" on...more
But damn Willis seems to have her hackles up about young people. Everyone in this story under the age of 30 is rude, shallow, and a constant slave to trends. I get that it's probably supposed to be comedic, but...more
Basic premise: Sandra, a scientist working for a company that doesn't really understand science, is thwarted by incompetent office staff and overzealous coworkers alike while trying to figure out what makes a fad catch on. Through hair bobbing, hoola hoops, flocks of she...more
Note: Gotta love a protagonist who checks classic books out from the library regularly, even when she doesn't have time to read them, so their circulation stats stay high enough to keep them on the shelf. Even more because I like the books she checks out :)
I laughed my way through this entire book. Sandra is a wonderful character and narrator. Her knowledge of trends and her resultant distaste for them coupled with her practical common sense and snarky humor made it easy for me to identify with her and get caught up in the story. She is also a little clueless and mean-spirited at times but it all comes together wonderfully. The scary thing about this book is that Willis didn't have to over exaggerate most of the situat...more
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