Connie Willis

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Connie Willis

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis (born 31 December 1945) is an American science fiction writer.


Fire Watch (1982)[edit]

Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 1983 and Nebula Award for Best Novelette in 1982
  • I would never save her. I looked at the woman mopping up the tea, and it came to me that I could not save her either. Enola or the cat or any of them, lost here in the endless stairways and cul-de-sacs of time. They were already dead a hundred years, past saving. The past is beyond saving. Surely that was the lesson the history department sent me all this way to learn. Well, fine, I’ve learned it. Can I go home now?

Doomsday Book (1992)[edit]

All page numbers from the mass market paperback published by Bantam Spectra
  • “They’re absolutely necrotic, aren’t they?” Colin whispered behind his order of service.
    “It’s late twentieth century atonal,” Dunworthy whispered back. “It’s supposed to sound dreadful.”
    • Chapter 14 (p. 219)
  • It’s the light, she thought. Everyone looks like a cutthroat by torchlight. No wonder they invented electricity.
    • Chapter 20 (p. 320)
  • Everyone else had the look of tired patience people always got when listening to a sermon, no matter what the century.
    • Chapter 20 (p. 326)
  • “The clerk is dying, Rosemund is dying, you’ve all been exposed. Why shouldn’t I give up hope?”
    “God has not abandoned us utterly,” he said. “Agnes is safe in his arms.”
    Safe, she thought bitterly. In the ground. In the cold. In the dark.
    • Chapter 31 (p. 496)
  • Nobody deserves this. “Please,” she prayed, and wasn’t sure what she asked.
    Whatever it was, it was not granted.
    • Chapter 31 (p. 498)
  • It doesn’t matter, she thought, and realized in spite of everything, horror after horror, Roche still believed in God. He had been going to the church to say matins when he found the steward, and if they all died, he would go on saying them and not find anything incongruous in his prayers.
    • Chapter 31 (p. 506)
  • "Kepe from haire. Der fevreblau hast bifallen us."
    • Chapter 35 (p. 563)

Bellwether (1996)[edit]

All page numbers from the mass market paperback published by Bantam Spectra
The sections in each chapter of the novel are not numbered. They are numbered here for ease of reference
  • “What’s going on?” I whispered to Gina.
    “Management is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt they don’t have enough to do,” she murmured back. “So they’ve invented a new acronym.”
    • Chapter 1 “Beginning”, Section 4 (p. 33)
  • Therein lay the secret to all fads: the herd instinct. People wanted to look like everybody else. That was why they bought white bucks and pedal pushers and bikinis. But someone had to be the first one to wear platform shoes, to bob their hair, and that took the opposite of herd instinct.
    • Chapter 2 “Bubblings”, Section 3 (p. 63)
  • There are moments when rather than reforming the human race I’d like to abandon it altogether and go become, say, one of Dr. O’Reilly’s macaques, which have to have more sense.
    • Chapter 2 “Bubblings”, Section 5 (p. 75)
  • Barbie’s one of those fads whose popularity makes you lose all faith in the human race.
    • Chapter 3 “Tributaries”, Section 3 (p. 117)
  • Why do only the awful things become fads? I thought. Eye-rolling and Barbie and bread pudding. Why never chocolate cheesecake or thinking for yourself?
    • Chapter 3 “Tributaries”, Section 3 (p. 119)
  • “My physics teacher used to say Diogenes shouldn’t have wasted his time looking for an honest man,” Shirl said, “he should have been looking for somebody who thought for himself.”
    • Chapter 3 “Tributaries”, Section 4 (p. 127)
  • Management cares about only one thing. Paperwork. They will forgive almost anything else—cost overruns, gross incompetence, criminal indictments—as long as the paperwork’s filled out properly. And in on time.
    • Chapter 4 “Rapids”, Section 1 (p. 140)
  • Management’ll never go for it. First, it’s live-animal research, which is controversial. Management hates controversy. Second, it’s something innovative, which means Management will hate it on principle.
    • Chapter 4 “Rapids”, Section 2 (p. 151)
  • You shouldn’t be looking for the secret to making people follow fads, you should be looking for the secret to making them think for themselves. Because that’s what science is all about.
    • Chapter 5 “Main Channel”, Section 2 (p. 226)

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