Last week saw the release of All Clear, the second and final volume of Connie Willis’ latest work (the first half, Blackout, was released in February) and this Friday, October, 29, she will be here in Arizona at The Poisoned Pen to talk about the novel. Joining her at the talk and signing at 7 pm will be author Laurie R. King, who is a fan of Connie. If you’re familiar with Connie’s work, or interested in time traveling historians, you should make it a point to catch her while she is in town.
Willis has won more Hugo Awards, ten, from the World Science Fiction Society than any other author. That could definitely be added to with her latest release, which might make the ballot as one work, not two separate works next year. In her latest update to ConnieWillis.net, she wants to remind readers that
it’s the second half of a book. BLACKOUT is the first half. They’re not two books, or a book and a sequel, or the first two installments of an endless series. They’re one book–BLACKOUT-ALL CLEAR.
I can’t say a lot about ALL CLEAR for fear of giving away what happens, but I can say that Polly and Eileen and Mike start out ALL CLEAR in trouble and get in a lot worse trouble before the end of the book, and that you haven’t seen the last of Alf and Binnie. Or Colin. And that you need to keep in mind that this is World War II we’re talking about, and that sixty thousand English civilians died. And no, I’m not telling you anything else.
Those who have read Blackout saw how the three time traveling historians came to be in England during the war, how they made it through their planned assignments (although not without some difficulties and surprises), how they are now unable to return to their own time and are afraid they have done something to change the timeline and cause Britain to lose the war. With the release of All Clear, readers can now get the rest of the story. As with Blackout, you get to see a good deal more of what the “contemps” went through while living through The Blitz and World War II. If you haven’t read Blackout yet, if you start now, you’ll be able to go right into All Clear and not have to wait eight months for it to be released. In fact, when Blackout was released, Willis suggested some fans may want to pick up Blackout at the time, but not actually read it until All Clear was released. Now that she is done with Blackout/All Clear, she’s said that
I’ll be working on some new short stories and my Roswell alien abduction novel, which will be one book, repeat, one book. I promise.