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Sunday, December 31, 2023

'An amazing literature'


“Science fiction is an amazing literature: plot elements that you would think would be completely worn out by now keep changing into surprising new forms.” – Connie Willis


Born in Colorado (where she still makes her home) on this date in 1945, Willis has won an incredible 11 Hugos and 7 Nebulas for her SciFi writing.  Her two-part 2010 novel Blackout/All Clear won both awards and made her the first writer to win a Hugo for every book in a series (the “Oxford Time Travel” series).  In 2011 she was named by the SciFi Writers Association as a “Grand Master,” their highest honor. 


An English and elementary education major, she combined teaching with short story writing for more than a dozen years before turning to full-time writing in the 1980s. Her portfolio includes some two-dozen novels, and many, many dozens of short stories, essays, novellas and novelettes.  Her most recent work is 2023’s The Road to Roswell.


While much of her writing is grounded in the social sciences, she often weaves technology into her stories in order to prompt readers to question what impact it has on the world. 

An advocate of meticulous research and exquisite detail (check out her books Passages or Remake for terrific examples), she encourages new writers to do the same and never in just one take.  “I have never written anything in one draft, not even a grocery list,” she quipped, “although I have heard from friends that this is actually possible.”

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