Fire Watch by Connie Willis


Science Fiction

Fire Watch Fire WatchConnie Willis; Spectra 1998WorldCat

Bartholomew had asked to be time transported to St. Paul’s journeys in the early years after Christ. Instead his final university project put him back to St. Paul’s Cathedral during the London Blitz of World War II. He has to figure how to get by and how to help until his return back to his own time in a few months while maintaining the “Fire Watch”.

Anne is going to Elliott’s memorial service. He disappeared when he sneaked out to see her one last time. Now she’s attending the service even though his fiancee is there. Instead, she finds Elliott hiding in one of the small rooms at the church. He bids her be quiet as he watches his own service in “Service for the Burial of the Dead”.

In “The Sidon in the Mirror” Ruby is a mirror person. He can’t help it. When he is around people he ends up becoming them, at least in actions and attitudes. He travels to the planet Paylay to become a piano player in a bawdy house. He also is fulfilling a family mission to right a horrendous wrong. But he can’t do that without mirroring someone else. Will he be able to?

Coincidences happen. But can human technology affect them? “Blued Moon” follows a few people in a company trying a new form of safe emissions to protect the environment yet dispose of their waste.

These are four of the short stories included in Connie Willis’ Fire Watch. The short story “Fire Watch” is a companion piece to her outstanding novel, The Doomsday Book. The other stories again highlight the flair and imagination Willis consistently shows in her speculative fiction work. This is a collection of some of her older work, first published in 1985. Fire Watch is a treat to read. If you haven’t discovered Connie Willis, this is a good introduction.

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