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Publisher Description

BLACKOUT is the opening movement of a vast, absorbing two-volume novel that may well prove to be Connie Willis' masterpiece. Like her multi-award winning THE DOOMSDAY BOOK, this stunning new work marries the intricate mechanics of time travel to the gritty - and dangerous - realities of human history.

The narrative opens in Oxford, England in 2060, where a trio of time traveling scholars prepares to depart for various corners of the Second World War. Their mission: to observe, from a safe vantage point, the day-to-day nature of life during this critical historical moment. As the action ranges from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the manor houses of rural England to the quotidian horrors of London during the Blitz, the objective nature of their roles gradually changes. Cut off from the safety net of the future and caught up in the chaotic events that make up history, they are forced to participate, in unexpected ways, in the defining events of the era.

BLACKOUT is an ingeniously constructed time travel novel and a grand entertainment. More than that, it is a moving, exquisitely detailed portrait of a world under siege, a world dominated by chaos, uncertainty, and the threat of imminent extinction. It is the rare sort of book that transcends the limits of genre, offering pleasure, insight, and illumination on virtually every page.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
June 1

Customer Reviews

Trivialities ,

Gripping and emotionally believable

I should say at the start that ever since my first Connie Willis I've loved her panache, her ability to create difficult but believable and satisfying characters, and to turn what might otherwise seem to be whimsy or escapism into stories that continue to resonate long after one has finished them.

Here, vol 1 of the story performs a bravura juggling act with three main characters all attempting to converge in a world where divergence points and historical cruces appear to be too far misaligned to allow for a credible meeting. It's to Willis' credit that by the end, I was happy to buy the interim solution she used as a mini-conclusion.

I'm just about to buy vol. 2 :-)

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