Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Whatever the cost may be

Connie Willis' books were what made me start to like and appreciate science fiction.

Blackout and its sequel All Clear are two of her time-travel stories I hadn't previously had a chance to read. History students in the late 21st century go back to various points during World War II: the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the London Blitz, and V-E Day. They each get trapped in the times they are only supposed to observe. Every failed attempt to return to the 21st century forces them to keep participating in the civil defense of Britain, possibly altering the future: crossing the Channel to rescue soldiers, sleeping in Tube shelters, driving ambulances, protecting St. Paul's.

The books were captivating, can't-put-down-even-at-4am reads, and a poignant testament to the legendary indomitable British spirit during the Blitz.