By the way, I'd suggest there are far worse ways to spend your weekend than cuddled up with Connie Willis's spectacular new novel Blackout. Man, oh, man, did I adore this book. Yes, it ends on a cliffhanger, and I can't wait for All Clear to come out this fall, but the entire thing is so perfect that I don't see how you can possibly wait to go ahead and read this one now. Available at fine booksellers from Spectra as of earlier this week, or score one of the limited editions from the ever-fabulous Subterranean Press.
It has nail-biting tension, just the right touch of humor, excellent and memorable characters, pitch-perfect writing and just about everything else you could want in a novel. One of the things I love best about it is that it feels like a World War II story I haven't seen a million times already, like Willis is showing us the war from the fringes of the actual battlefields, or rather Britain as a battlefield everyday people inhabited--exploring what it was like for shopgirls and actors who weren't performing for long stretches (Sir Godfrey is my favorite! Well, except for Alf and Binnie!), British intelligence agents doing semi-goofy things, and for women driving ambulances or military leaders from place to place. There are more women featuring in principle roles in this novel, actually, than in any other novel set during the great wars that I can remember. Plus, this is time travel! And like Tansy, I simply can't wait to see where the second installment takes us.
There are so many things I loved about it that I'd rather just discuss it after others have read it. So drop in after you do and leave a comment, why don't you?
p.s. You'll note I've eschewed Amazon links, even though there are still some elsewhere on my site. I don't know what to do about that, because I'm a code klutz and typepad automatically directs to them. I will assure you any money I get from Amazon affilitiates is spent on cat food and Lush products, and never on books, though. And that as soon as there's an alternative I can manage, I will be. In the meantime, why not drop by your local bookshop and pick it up?