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Remake

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,693 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Connie Willis's acclaimed time travel novel, "Doomsday Book," swept the major science fiction awards the year it was published. Now, in this new novel, Willis explores the timeless themes of emotion and technology, reality and illusion, and the bittersweet place where they intersect to make art. It's the Hollywood of the future, where movie-making has been computerized and ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 140 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Spectra (first published December 1994)
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3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,693 ratings  ·  135 reviews


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Megan Baxter
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Most of the time, I love Connie Willis' books. Sometimes, though, they just never take flight. This was, unfortunately, one of the latter. It's not bad, there just wasn't enough meat there to sink my teeth into, and lacked that sense of either madcap frenzy or unbearable tension that some of her other works have had.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read
...more
Brendon Schrodinger
I adore Connie Willis and I have trawled through her major and popular works with absolute glee. Now I'm left with the leftovers. The three-starers. And while it does hurt to say that a little, it is great to recognise that even those you worship have their no-so-greats. But it's also promising that the worst I have read from Connie is still three-star worthy.

'Remake' is set in the near future where Hollywood has gone so far up it's own ass that it is not making any new material at all. Well not
...more
Martin
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like old movies?
You will like this


A Hollywood of drugs and special effects, where computer animation and sampling have reduced the movie industry to software manipulation. Except for what one starry-eyed young woman wants to do: dance in the movies. It's an impossible dream, but Alis is not willing to give up. With a little magic and a lot of luck, she just might get her happy ending after all.

Movie aficionados' delight.

Enjoy!


fromcouchtomoon
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
A cliché of clichés is still cliché.
G33z3r
A Willis comedy Novella for movie lovers.

In the future, they don't film new movies anymore, they just reprocess old ones with new software, changing whatever faces, dialog & settings they want. At least, if the rights aren't "in litigation". The hero/narrator is currently processing a batch of films for "ILMGM", removing all Addictive Substances (including alcohol and tobacco.) So in Casablanca, maybe Rick will own an ice cream parlor? :)

Hero meets Alice at a Hollywood party. Her dream is to
...more
Emilia Barnes
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, wistful look back at Hollywood, with a disenchanted and bitter drunk who rediscovers his passions through the determination and zeal of a film student and dancer. I really loved everything about it.
prcardi
Storyline: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 5/5

Wow. I read for experiences like this.

Don't go looking for a summary or review. This is one of those that is best encountered without prior knowledge. If you're one of those that absolutely needs some sort of preview, accept this: (view spoiler).

What makes this work so amazing is its totality. Everything fit; everything was used. The details illuminate the world, the world is filled with
...more
Ainslie
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it
My judgments of Connie Willis books are always a little unfair. Of her works, I read Doomsday Book first and loved it, and I come to every new read hoping it will be just as good as that masterwork. And some of them are: Blackout, All Clear, To Say Nothing of the Dog... I tend to like the books in that same time-travel universe established in Doomsday Book, while the more self-contained novels that satirize an industry or a genre - Uncharted Territory, Bellwether, and yes, Remake - I don't tend ...more
Alex L.
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hilarious because Willis was so clearly writing in the Made Up Words And Drugs Of The FUTURE! trend that happened in the 1990s, and I don't find that to be her strongest voice. Made up future-drugs are kind of a thing in cyberpunk, and this is a shot at cyberpunk that doesn't care about cyberpunk in the least. It cares about movies - or popular things, copyright - and time-travel, which is basically Willis through and through.

The themes of copyfighting are amazing, though; the plot hinges on Fra
...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Another brilliant Connie Willis book! In Remake she displays yet again the humor, inventiveness, and great plot-writing that make her one of my favorite authors. I love her cynical view of the future of Hollywood and the movie industry, where anything is possible: Marylin Monroe can play in Pretty Woman, Fred Astaire is in copyright litigation (so is Russ Tamblyn, to prevent his image to be used in snuff porn movies...) and the reluctant hero's job is to de-booze the movies and make them “addict ...more
Josh
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I once heard on NPR that there are plenty of examples of male novelists who write good women characters, but no examples of female novelists who write good male characters. Well, I think that Connie Willis does a pretty good job on her male characters. Willis is also the master of the bittersweet ending, which this book has. Although I like her books, I think that I might have to put off reading the next one because it is bound to be sad like all the rest.
Craig
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite Connie Willis book, though I'm sure I'm almost alone in that opinion. I felt that she hit the points she was trying to make flawlessly throughout, I enjoyed the characters and the situations and the pace, and there was a perfect balance of pathos and humor. And I love old movies and think they should be left as they were originally intended.
nks
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Wavering between 3 and 4 stars on this one. Entertaining but a bit of a pop culture wank. Well put together, but not wildly wonderful. More on the blog later...
Michelle R. Wood
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: solo, science-fiction
This book is quite prescient for its publication date (1996), anticipating a Hollywood obsessed with nostalgia, churning out endless reimaginings of old hits, with explorations into the effect new technology might have on entertainment and copyright law. But its dystopian trappings, meandering story, and flat protagonist undercut the book's potential. Throw in some very nineties-era projections of the future that now read as anachronisms, and you're left with a dated rather than timeless work. T ...more
Glen Engel-Cox
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon
It takes Willis a long time to write a novel, due to the incredible amount of research that she does for them. Of course, this is also one of the reasons why they are so good. In the early 1990s, her editor had a brilliant idea--why not write shorter novels? Connie, in a rare fit of insanity, agreed. The idea was crazy because she does the same amount of research for a novella as for a novel. If there was a silver lining in this cloud, it is likely the increased amount of shelf space that Willis ...more
Kristin
This book was a bit different from Willis's other books I've read (The Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and Passage). There was less of the frantic running around in circles that seems to characterize most of her books and more of an actual give and take of characters and an interesting plot that drew me to the end.

The blurb makes it sound as if the book was written in Alis's POV. It was actually from [ ] POV. [ ] is a tech-geek, who is hired by ILMGM to "remake" movies. As with most o
...more
Deb
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
That was a fun little read. I thought it an interesting concept Willis had going there with the remake of movies with digital images of movie actors/actress favorites or paying to put your face into a classic role. I remember when they first started playing around with digital images of actors long gone and it crossed computer folks' minds to make new movies with long gone movie stars. Of course, it didn't happen. Anyway... I enjoyed this tale and the main characters. It wasn't my favorite Conni ...more
Mei
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
An easy read, and follows the themes which I find common with Connie Willis - some (a little) romance, time travel, disjointed experiences...someone commented that she has a terrible editor. I suppose I can see a little of that, but in any case it got me through four days of tube journeys (and nearly got me run over by a bus). Cautionary note to readers, it pays to look up from a book while crossing the street. I'd be a little disappointed however if it was this book that finally led to my demis ...more
Brian Rogers
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I pulled this off the shelf because of Rogue One. The computerized Grand Moff Tarken might look like Peter Cushing and sound (mostly) like Peter Cushing but that, my friend, was no Peter Cushing. Still, it reminded me of this thin Connie Willis volume, which I suppose was worth it. It's good to know we're not in that future yet.

The various threads are basically Willis ranting about things - censorship of controlled substances in media, the death of the movie musical and how that came about, the
...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Another brilliant Connie Willis book! In Remake she displays yet again the humor, inventiveness, and great plot-writing that make her one of my favorite authors.

I love her cynical view of the future of Hollywood and the movie industry, where anything is possible : Marylin Monroe can play in Pretty Woman, Fred Astaire is in copyright litigation (so is Russ Tamblyn, to prevent his image to be used in snuff porn movies...) and the reluctant hero's job is to de-booze the movies and make them “addict
...more
Laura
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't know why I bought this at the used bookstore when I still have Doomsday Book sitting unread on my bookshelf, but I did, and I read it, and I enjoyed it. The three stars are only in relation to other Connie Willis novels, which isn't exactly fair, since a mediocre Connie Willis novel is still better than many other people's best novels. I liked the mystery aspect of it as well as the scifi world she created. But I ultimately don't think the book went anywhere. Still. Kept me going. But if ...more
Samuel Lubell
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
A love story to the movie musical. In a future Hollywood where movies are an endless stream of remakes using digitized actors of the past, a man who has the job of digitally altering classics to remove the smoking and alcohol (science fiction then) falls in love with a woman who wants to dance in the movies. But no movies are being made. Then he starts seeing her in the chorus line and even leading roles of classic movies. A wonderful short tale with lots of the Connie Willis humor that was most ...more
Teresa
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, romance, 2012
A scary futuristic alternate reality look at what the entertainment industry could conceivably become when technology makes real live actors obsolete and pride in craft is completely absent. Bow to the almighty buck! Recycling of old films to make new in this case is not such a "green" idea, remakes replace originality, no live actors, no writers or directors needed. Great characters, I was completely sucked into the story. I'll be looking for more of this author's work.
Jay Goemmer
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Remake (1995) by Connie Willis.

If you thought the last movie you saw was just like a dozen other ones, the future imagined in _Remake_ takes that to an extreme. Nobody's making new films anymore. They're just recycling old ones and substituting alternate actors in "classic" roles. Not quite as technical as I thought it might be, but the story offers hope, all the same. It would be especially interesting to see as a movie, if it were done correctly.

(August 2007)
Wendybird
Curious concept of a future Hollywood where only technology-driven remakes seem to occur. Curious that a movie industry could ever continue without original productions, but TV does that even now, so could be. Whether or not it's likely, I did feel I was there through great descriptions & realistic leading and supporting characters. Good plot, dialogue, and irony with upbeat resolution not unlike an old film. Very original and truly well done. Best if you're familiar with old musicals.
Hannele Kormano
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Connie Willis enjoys delving into the past - this one, an excuse to delve into the golden age of Hollywood, particularly musicals, through the lens of science fiction and a future of forever remixing.

Slightly distracting, the knowledge that the musical did not die quite as definitively as predicted. But still, fun to read about 2018 from the perspective of 1995. Movie editing magic is getting _pretty close_ to what's described, even if it's not quite there yet.
Michael
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good, (very) short novel by the fabulous Connie Willis. This story is absolutely packed with references to classic films. Once I realized that she was writing the main character as Fredric March (see "Nothing Sacred" 1937), everything fell into place for me. If you love films of the '30s & '40s, this is definitely worth a read.
Lea
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A melancholy and subversive story, Remake makes me think Neal Stevenson telling the story of Casablanca. Which, I guess I should add, I have never actually watched. Beautiful and sad and filled with addictive substances, this is a kind of future telling that seems a little too accurate, critiquing society at large and doing so in a very personal, subtle and dynamic manner.
A.J.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I find Connie Willis a bit hit and miss, but this one is great, with its predictions about the nature of Hollywood, celebrity, and copyright. I think it's perhaps a length issue: the books of hers that I've liked the most have been the shorter, more focused ones. The longer books seem to get a bit rambling and repetitive. Definitely a case of less is more.
Meridel Newton
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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3,318 followers
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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“That's what the movies do. They don't entertain us, they don't send the message: 'We care.' They give us lines to say, they assign us parts: John Wayne, Theda Bara, Shirley Temple, take your pick.” 12 likes
“They make you settle for second best."
That's what I like about the movies. There's always some minor character standing round to tell you the moral, just in case you're too dumb to figure it out for yourself.
"You never get what you want.”
9 likes
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