Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories” as Want to Read:
The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  990 ratings  ·  115 reviews
"Variety is the soul of pleasure," And variety is what this comprehensive new collection of Connie Willis is all about. The stories cover the entire spectrum, from sad to sparkling to terrifying, from classics to hard-to-find treasures with everything in between -- orangutans, Egypt, earthworms, roast goose, college professors, mothers-in-law, aliens, secret codes, Secret ...more
Hardcover, 600 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Subterranean Press (first published 1985)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  990 ratings  ·  115 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
June 9, 2015: $2.99 on Kindle. A novella and 23 short stories by Connie Willis, one of my favorite SF/fantasy authors.
12/31/2019 Listened to "At the Rialto" via EscapePod episode 600

Review from November 2009 (ten years one month fifteen days ago to be exact) follows:

3.17 stars to be exact. For mini-reviews of all the short stories, please see the comments associated with my status updates.

My six favorite stories were:

The Blued Moon - This was laugh out loud hilarious. It reminded me of my favorite episode of Fawlty Towers.

A Letter from the Clearys - Post-apocalyptic stressed out family with a non-barking
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Connie Willis is something of a one-trick pony. She does her trick very well, but the shallowness of her style shouts when a dozen of her short stories are lumped together, as here. Especially when some are poor enough that they’d probably never see publication except in such an anthology. 700 pages of it.

As her readers know, Willis is fascinated with London during the Blitz. That is represented here, but she ranges far across the globe to present the usual suspects—late, lazy, lost or looney—
3.5 stars. This review is only for the title story, "The Winds of Marble Arch." A subtle, very well written story about the ability of a few people to feel the "emotional echoes" of traumatic historical events and the effect such experioencs have on them.

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Novella
Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novella
Oct 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Connie Willis makes me crazy. How can she be so prolific, and so brilliant, and such a masterful craftsman, and make it all look so easy? (All right, yes: the middle two explain the last.)

This collection of short fiction, while a door-stopper, is amazing. (Actually, my biggest complaint is that the Subterranean Press designer did a pretty unprofessional job with the cover font. Let that be the last I speak of it.) Connie Willis, now, writes in -- could we call them several different modes? One
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology
I'm not usually a big fan of short stories, but of course I'll read anything Connie Willis writes. Even the ones that have been published before are fun to read again. I was thrilled to see "Firewatch" included in this collection, and felt the ending as strongly this time as I did the first time I read it. Other stories, like "Blued Moon" and "At the Rialto" carry Willis' trademark corporate stupidity and mangled language, but others, like "A Letter from the Clearys" and "Nonstop to Portales" ...more
Dec 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
SF, Short Stories. This isn't the definitive Connie Willis collection -- it's missing a few stories from Miracle and Other Christmas Stories and Impossible Things -- but it's close.

Of the ones I hadn't read before, I liked Nonstop to Portales, a bus of tourists in the middle of nowhere; Ado, in the future, teaching Shakespeare will only take a minute; In the Late Cretaceous, a university's paleontology department has to evolve or die; The Last of the Winnebagos, a future where dogs are extinct
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ms. Willis has done a lot of research into the bombings of London during World War II. This is evident through her inclusion of three (three!) different stories in this collection that have some connection to that theme. “The Winds of Marble Arch” is one; “Night Watch” is another; and “Jack” rounds out that triptych of stories.

Now, am I complaining? Heck no! Ms. Willis is a fine, extraordinary writer, and she has a knack for writing stories that are a lot like those zany romantic comedies from
May 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, sci-fi
For some reason, it took me awhile to get into the title story. It's classic Connie and once I picked it back up after vacation, it flew. But it's still not my favorite.

I did immediately love Cash Crop. It was an early story, so haunted, very reminiscint of Daisy, in the Sun. I wasn't surprised by the twist, but I had thought she was a carrier. Still, this was gorgeous. I thought it was my favorite, until I read the next new story.

Curse of the Kings was creepy and scary and if you love The
Jamie Collins
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, wwii
A great collection. My favorite stories are Fire Watch, Even the Queen, Newsletter, Inn, and The Soul Selects Her Own Society. I love her fascination with Christmas and with The Blitz.

Stories included:
The Winds of Marble Arch
Blued Moon
Just Like the Ones We Used to Know
Daisy, in the Sun
A Letter from the Clearys
Fire Watch
Nonstop to Portales
All My Darling Daughters
In the Late Cretaceous
The Curse of Kings
Even the Queen
Cash Crop
The Last of the Winnebagos
Service for the
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite a variety of stories here, particularly for Connie Willis fans. Not all the stories were to my taste, but many of them were great!

If you're a CW fan, I'm sure you'll find this well worth the read.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading Connie Willis' stories. They are often funny - although they might be melancholic too sometimes - and there's always an interesting concept or idea about them.
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
" 'Variety is the soul of pleasure.' And variety is what this comprehensive new collection of Connie Willis is all about. The stories cover the entire spectrum, fr9om sad to sparkling to terrifying, from classics to hard-to-find treasures with everything in between -- orangutans, Egypt, earthworms, roast goose, college professors, mothers-in-law, aliens, secret codes, Secret Santas, tube stations, choir practice, the post office, the green light on Daisy's dock, weddings, divorces, death, and ...more
Kat  Hooper
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I read an audio version of The Winds of Marble Arch (not the "Other Stories")

Originally posted at FanLit.

Tom and his wife are visiting London so Tom can attend an academic conference while his wife goes shopping with a friend. When Tom takes the Tube to the conference, he feels a strange wind in the Underground. It’s more than just the normal drafts created by trains coming and going; this wind smells ancient and deadly and makes him feel afraid. Skipping the conference, and forgetting to buy
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this one five stars, not because all the stories were perfect, but because taken as a whole, the collection presents a fabulous variety. Some of the stories are science fiction (like "Cash Crop"), some are contemporary with odd little twists (like "Just Like the Ones We Used to Know"), some have time travel (like "Fire Watch," which has the added bonus of a Doomsday Book reference), and one is so downright creepy I'd like to forget it. Some short story collections feel awkward, not ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I'm not a fan of short stories and novellas. I never really enjoy them because they are so... short! There is hardly time for character or plot developement and I always feel that something is lacking.

Now when the stories are written by Connie Willis... Her short stories and novellas are really condensed version of her novels. She is such a fantastic writer that she manages to develop a plot in only a few pages. I think what I love most about her writing is that the story doesn't usually make
Riana Elizabeth
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Occasionally you come across a story that disturbs you so much you know it will never fully leave you, and will influence your writing and the way you deal with plot set-up in the years to come. This was just one of those stories. I would've given it 4.5 stars, if possible, and the only reason I didn't rate it 5 was due to the choppiness of the writing and the fact that the main protagonist's affected language kept throwing me out of the scene. Twisted climax with thwarted resolution that still ...more
Meg Leader
I hate giving Connie Willis three stars.

I've read her books for years and usually grab them as soon as they come out. I don't know if I missed this collection when it first came out, or by passed it before I expected the issue that happened. Either way, I decided to read it now.

I realized many, many years ago that I do not like reading collections of short stories. Five or six in a row? fine. Story after

I was good with Connie's collection for about 500 pages - so, yes, I really
Althea Ann
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of Connie Willis, you will like this book. You will also have read a great deal of it before.
I believe, however, that this is the most comprehensive collection of Willis' short fiction out there. it's got just a ton of stuff... and it weighs a ton.
It'd be a great introduction to Willis' work, and it's a must for completists.
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I love Connie Willis, but her rapid-fire dialog and interweaving plots start to feel a little tiring after the fifth or sixth short story in a row. This is definitely not a book to read all in one week.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
Excellent collection of Connie Willis's short stories, including some hard to find. Loved "Newsletter," a Christmas story I'd never read of hers. As usual, "Chance" is my favorite short story of all time, but "Daisy in the Sun" is also unforgettable and "The Last of the Winnebagos."
James Mourgos
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great little compilation. I especially enjoyed the tale with the subway that still remembers World War II bombing raids. The winds never forget. Creepy. Some repeats from other anthologies. A decent intro to Connie Willis, though nothing beats her Doomsday Book!
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Well up to the usual Connie Willis standard, which is very high! Besides the stories themselves, I enjoyed her introduction very much, in which she talks about her favorite things....
Dec 24, 2007 marked it as to-read
recommended on ATC....we'll see if it pans out.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You can't do better than a compilation of Connie Willis' stories, and this is the biggest volume. It has nearly all her best stories (notable exclusions are 'All Seated on the Ground' and 'Spice Pogram', two of my favorites). The reason why Willis is my favorite living author is because, even though her work is classified as science fiction, it often takes a broader definition than the norm. Many of her stories are screwball comedies, and the ones that are more dramatic than comedic have a ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I bought this gigantic collection so I could start the Oxford Time Travel series with “Fire Watch”. I love that story, dark though it is, so I read this collection in chunks between volumes of the next couple books in the series.

Based on a few other reviews I’ve read, I disagree with most folks on Willis. Most seem to either love everything she’s done, or they loved the Oxford Time Travel series most of all. So far I’ve only loved Bellwether, and many of the short tales found in this collection.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three stars, but some of this bumper collection of stories rate more, and rather too many rate less.

Connie Willis seems fascinated by the London Blitz in some of these stories, presumably written in some cases when she was working on her pair of time-travel novels set then. Like them, however, her research seems superficial at times; if fanfic writers can get Britpickers at need, I really don't see why she can't. She makes some extraordinarily silly mistakes - a 'raspberry torte' in late autumn
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adore Connie Willis' work, and this hefty tome of her magnificent stories was no exception. I'd read several of them before in Time is the Fire: The Best of Connie Willis but the new to me ones were all wonderful too. Her range is awe-inspiring. You rarely see a writer who can go from the profound (Samaritan) and horrifying (All My Darling Daughters) to the light and comic (Inn). My one bugbear is the two mistakes in Jack. 1. We call it pavement not sidewalk in the UK. 2. There was no Duchess ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it

TBH I'm not sure I completely understood this one. I mean, I get what's happening in the story, just not entirely sure what the point is meant to be? I keep seeing people reviewing this as one of the most disturbing stories they've ever read, but . . . IDK maybe I just read stuff that's a lot weirder than other people do?

Feel free to enlighten me -- NICELY, please -- if I've really missed something here.
Tom Loock
Read this hefty tome (almost 700 pages) over the course of two years. I had only read Willis' good stuff before, but in a collection of such dimensions it is only natural - though a tad disappointing - that it contains strong AND weak stories.
I particularly enjoyed 'The Winds of Marble Arch', 'Fire Watch', 'The Last of the Winnebagos' and 'Nonstop to Portales'. Others are quite disappointing: 'In the Late Cretaceous' is a repetition of the same lame jokes over and over.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hunting Harkonnens (Legends of Dune, #0.5)
  • Slow River
  • Six Moon Dance
  • A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18)
  • Stay (Aud Torvingen #2)
  • Deaths of Jocasta (Micky Knight, #2)
  • In the Garden of Iden (The Company, #1)
  • The Graveyard Game (The Company, #4)
  • The Blue Place (Aud Torvingen, #1)
  • Pictures of Perfection (Dalziel & Pascoe, #14)
  • No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
  • Valor's Trial (Confederation, #4)
  • Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company, #3)
  • Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
  • Flag in Exile (Honor Harrington, #5)
  • Scardown (Jenny Casey, #2)
  • Command Decision (Vatta's War, #4)
  • Crystal Dragon (The Great Migration Duology, #2; Liaden Universe, #2)
See similar books…
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
“Actually, writers have no business writing about their own works. They either wax conceited, saying things like: 'My brilliance is possibly most apparent in my dazzling short story, "The Cookiepants Hypotenuse."' Or else they get unbearably cutesy: 'My cat Ootsywootums has given me all my best ideas, hasn't oo, squeezums?” 66 likes
“I was on a walking tour of Oxford colleges once with a group of bored and unimpressable tourists. They yawned at Balliol's quad, T.E. Lawrence's and Churchill's portraits, and the blackboard Einstein wrote his E=mc2 on. Then the tour guide said, 'And this is the Bridge of Sighs, where Lord Peter proposed (in Latin) to Harriet,' and everyone suddenly came to life and began snapping pictures. Such is the power of books.” 26 likes
More quotes…