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Fire Watch

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,832 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Winner of six Nebula and five Hugo awards, Connie Willis is one of the most acclaimed and imaginative authors of our time.Her startling and powerful works have redefined the boundaries of contemporary science fiction.Here in one volume are twelve of her greatest stories, including double award-winner "Fire Watch," set in the universe of Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published April 1998 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1984)
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe Cider House Rules by John IrvingPerfume by Patrick Süskind
Best Books of 1985
26th out of 136 books — 96 voters
Death on Zanath by Lee GimenezAll Clear by Connie WillisAnne McCaffrey's Dragonflight #1 by Brynne StephensThe Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffreyFlashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
Where would SF be without these Authors part 3
57th out of 102 books — 18 voters

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Community Reviews

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The last story, Blued Moon is the star - very much in the same vein as To Say Nothing of the Dog (my favourite Willis novel). It's a sparkling celebration of coincidences and technical jargon. The kind of story that makes me want to shout, "Yes, Connie! Yes! Write more stories like this!"

As with all short story collections it's a mixed bag. Despite kicking off Willis' superb time-travel series (which I love), I was surprised that the title story, Fire Watch didn't do all that much for me.
All My
I decided to finally read this, the first of Connie Willis's books about a group of hapless time-traveling historians. I picked today because my library copy of her new book, All Clear, is very large and heavy and impractical to haul around New York on my back along with two dozen bagels, which is impractical enough on its own. I had expected that she might have given some background in this first novella that I had been missing ever since, but I should have known better. She tells us what we ne ...more
Good work. Not quite a four, but it was her first Oxford Time travel story and one of her first. A straight, clear, hit-you-in-the-solar-plexus kind of tale.

References to Kivrin's Doomsday Book adventures are especially interesting as the novella Fire Watch was written almost a decade before Doomsday Book.
I just read the title story, not the whole collection. I've been meaning to read Connie Willis' stuff for a long time, since several friends in one of my groups are very enthusiastic about her work. Fire Watch was easy and fun to read -- available online, here, by the way. You get thrown in at the deep end a bit at the beginning: it helped me to know that it was a story about a history student going back in time as part of their studies. But it was very readable, and reasonably easy to catch on ...more
After reading the titular novella of this book, I was sure it would be five stars all the way through... but, not surprisingly as this goes with the territory for short story collections, it was a variety of hits and misses. The first and last stories stand out: "Fire Watch" is a breathtakingly well-constructed narrative that withholds just the right amount of information, giving the reader glimpses at a future world through the protagonist's interactions with the past. Of all the stories in thi ...more
This is a 1998 reissue of a 1985 collection of short stories by Connie Willis who has won six Nebula and five Hugo awards for her sci-fi fiction. Her "Doomsday Book" of 1992 was one of the best science fiction novels I've ever read. There are a number of interesting stories among the 12 in the book, including the title story, a precursor to "Doomsday Book." "Blued Moon" is a humorous look at language and coincidence, and "A Letter from the Clearys" is a story that slowly transforms itself from ...more
Connie Willis is brilliant. I have to say, I didn't really like the short story "Fire Watch," whose title became the title for the collection. It was okay, but I felt like you really had to read Doomsday Book beforehand to appreciate the way Kivrin kept coming up, and I dunno--it was just dark and dirty in a basement bomb-shelter kind of way, like the bottom of St. Paul's during the bombings kind of way, and long and drawn-out. Maybe Willis was doing that on purpose. However, I liked almost all ...more
I was introduced to this author through a friend of mine and found that I enjoyed the universe so when I found out that "Fire Watch" was the first story ever written in this universe I thought I'd start off right and get to know the rest of the stories. I did not realize that "Fire Watch" was actually just a short story and that this book is a collection of short stories, of which "Fire Watch" was the only one set in the universe of time-traveling historians. The rest are an odd collection rangi ...more
Willis is an author that never ceases to delight me, but for reasons unknown I've yet to go on one of those tears where I devour everything she's written and then wait rather less than patiently for her to write some more. The upshot of this oversight is then getting to fall over gems like this collection, which is a fine example of what can happen with intriguing two-sentence premises in the capable hands of a gifted writer.
Another collection of short stories by Connie Willis. Looks like the main story, "Fire Watch", takes place after Doomsday Book. And I suspect in the same world as another story of hers I read which I can't immediately recall. Anyway, time travel, the Blitz, saving a church. Themes that crop up in other stories of hers.

Oh yea, one other theme I forgot to mention in my review of another collection of hers: academic bureaucracy.

I don't think any of the stories in here particularly stood out for me.
How had I missed knowing about this book? I am most of the way through Fire Watch, the first story, and have put down my Kindle because I don't want my fictional world to end. (Well, the Blitz can end - let say not even start, but I want the Historians to stay around.) Why did it take so long to read this book? I read the stories around library books. The time involved is not a quality indicator.

What a wonderful and varied collection from this marvelous author. Fire Watch, the historian story, o
so like one night my partner-in-crime said this author would be the person he'd trade me in for and I was all offended UNTIL I READ THIS BOOK and now I'm all "Oh, I get it now."
Jordan Prewoznik
A bit all of the place. There was one story that was very. very profoundly disturbing, but the other few were just 'meh' at best
Gevera Bert
The weakest story in this was the time travel one, only because it did not use the same rules as the related novels.
David Knickmeyer

I have enjoyed several of Connie Willis' novels and this collection of short stories had 'Blued Moon', a light hearted short I've always liked. Unfortunately, it and 'Fire Watch' are the only two stories I really enjoyed in this book. Several stories were disturbing, frankly. 'Blued Moon' is fun and 'Fire Watch' is also good, but for it you might be better off if you have read 'the Doomsday Book' and understand her time travel setting. A short story doesn't give much room to explain it.
Keeley Brooks

Oh wow. I really did not like this collection of stories. The title story was enjoyable - but the others ranged from disturbing to what felt like outright reader abuse. I feel betrayed - like I was lured in with a certain style of writing then the door was locked and barred behind me and I was beaten with the lead pipe of an entirely different kind of writing.

In the interests of full disclosure I must say I didn't read the last couple of stories in the book. Maybe it was redeemed by the
Connie Willis has a wonderful writing style, engrossing prose and a wonderful sense of detail and character. Whether she's writing science fiction or a ghost story, it's always the human element she explores.

"Fire Watch" is the most significant of the stories in this collection, mostly because it precedes the multi-award-winning "Oxford time travelers" novels (Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout and All Clear). Nonetheless, most of the other stories are almost as engrossing.
Jul 17, 2007 Steph rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens and older
A collection of fantasy short stories by Connie Willis. One is set in the same world as 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' and 'Doomsday Book' but the rest are entirely different. Some I liked a lot (especially the last one), others less so, therefore I gave it only 3 stars.
Kathleen Dixon
I'm a latecomer to Connie Willis and am enjoying her enormously!

Despite frequently saying I'm not much of fan of short stories, science fiction has never in my mind been a part of that category. I guess I'm just an inveterate sci-fi fan, raised on the imaginative and way-out.

Each of the stories in this collection is quite distinct and with fully realised worlds ranging from a humorous tale set in our own world, another in our world with ghosts, a slightly speculative story about sentience, to a
To say the least, I was disappointed. I read the first short story in this collection, the title work, for its affinity with the Blackout series. It was OK. As I read further I became less and less pleased with the stories. A few were OK, a few were really terrible. I even skipped one. I didn't find this collection up to the author's standards.
Jul 20, 2015 Ana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
Some of these stories were amazing, 5+ stars, and some were so-so. The ones I didn't like as much, like All My Darling Daughters, tended to have a very foreign world and slang that took some getting used to. Since these are short stories, by the time I had the world figured out, they were done and I couldn't appreciate the plot because I was getting used to the setting. Others, like Fire Watch and Blued Moon, were why I gave the whole book five stars. The stories really show off the author's abi ...more
Wonderful stories, always taut with suspense, Connie Willis's unique stamp all over them. This book still haunts my notion of World War II.
This a book of short stories that really show off the author's creativity and writing talent. The first story "Fire Watch" is very clearly the seed that ultimately grew into the blockbuster two-book series "Blackout" and "All Clear." Also, elements of the last story in the book, "Blued Moon" can be found in many of Ms. Willis's works. I liked all of the stories, and this is probably the best book of short stories I have ever read. None of the stories are throwaways. This is a very entertaining r ...more
John Welsh
A sublime introductory collection of short SF from Connie Willis, who, in a distinguished career, never produced anything better than the best stories here. The standouts are the sad, thoughtful post-apocalypse of A Letter From The Clearys and the savage, revelatory sucker-punch of All My Darling Daughters (which could use a trigger warning; don't share it without thinking about it - really).
It's wonderful. SF in the 80s was on a roll, and this was the pick of the field. Things didn't work out s
An interesting and often strange collection of stories. I've only read Connie Willis books from the Oxford Time Travel series, so I wasn't entirely sure what the other stories were going to be like. Even Fire Watch is not much like the other books in the Oxford Time Travel series - it has nothing of the comedy of errors feel that the other books have. The real stand-outs in this collection are The Sidon in the Mirror and Blue Mooned. Other solid stories are All My Darling Daughters (warning: ext ...more
"ארץ לא נודעת" – קובץ סיפורים, הוצאת כתר, 1997, 214 עמ

הקדמה - אחרי כל ההמלצות שרצו בפורום לגבי ספרים של קוני ויליס ובמיוחד לגבי "המשכוכית" האלמותי והבלתי ניתן להשגה, הייתי חיבת להשלים את הפער ולסגור חור בהשכלה. הזמנתי לי את "ספר יום הדין" ואת "ארץ לא נודעת".

אם מחיר הספר היה נקבע לפי משקלו (כמו לדוגמא ספרים מקצועיים שמזמינים מחו"ל), מחיר "ספר יום הדין" היה מרקיע שחקים....אז החלטתי להתחיל עם "ארץ לא נודעת".

הספר מורכב משלוש נובלות, שהראשונה היא "ארץ לא נודעת" ועל שמה הספר, השניה " משמרת אש" והשלישי
I'd read two of these stories--"Fire Watch" and "A Letter from the Clearys"--in The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories, so I was curious to check out Willis' other early short stories. While the plots occasionally feel a little flimsy, I was struck again and again by the way Willis uses language to give shape and texture to the worlds of the stories. The most overt example of this is in "All My Darling Daughters," where the slang used at a boarding school reveals so many (often disturb ...more
Firewatch - the first of Connie Willis' time-travel stories, is predecessor not only to to Willis' time-traveling universe in general, but also to Blackout/All Clear in particular, books that I suppose made it to my favourites among Willis' books, but also to my favourites of all times.
Reading Firewatch, I found it especially amusing to read all about Bartholomew, who is going to play a small but crucial role in Blackout, but also about Kivrin, heroine of Willis' Doomsdaybook. It's fun to see wh

Pierwsza kobieta zajmująca się sf, którą w ogóle kojarzę. Sam z tego typu książek lubię jedynie serię o Diunie, a cała reszta jest przeważnie infantylnymi opowiastkami. To co dziś przeczytałem to zbiór opowiadań jednego z najlepszych pisarzy sf, z jakimi miałem przyjemność się zetknąć. Jeśli dorzucimy do tego wojnę płci, to mężczyżni z tą panią przegrywają. Porusza dzisiejsze problemy, tylko w innym czasie. Nie bawi się w pokazywanie laserorubinów, filtrfraków i innych kosmi
Roddy Williams
These stories cover a writing period of about five years in the early eighties and contain some of Willis’ best work. There are loose themes of women and religion running through the tales
Willis helpfully provides short introductions to each story, revealing where some of the ideas came from and her methods of working. In the main this is a first rate collection. I’ve always considered ‘The Sidon in the Mirror’ in particular to be one of the finest examples of short SF I have ever come across. T
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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
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