Monday, March 4, 2013

Bellwether by Connie Willis

Doctor Sandra Foster is a researcher studying fads (where they come from, how they originate, and, ultimately, if it may be possible to predict or even start one on purpose) for her employer, a company called Hi-Tek, who is interested in cashing in on fad creation if Sandra's research pans out.  Meanwhile, her company is itself at the mercy of all kinds of ridiculous management fads, and Sandra and her co-workers are continually challenged by the worst administrative assistant ever, a young woman who leaves destruction and chaos in her wake.  All the while everyone on staff is being pressured to win a mysterious but highly desirable research grant.

Willis writes such intelligent fiction - full of snarky social commentary and all kinds of wonderful allusions and references (here she manages to weave in Browning's poem "Pippa Passes" in a delightful and hysterical way).  This one is smart, funny, and will definitely appeal to anyone who's ever been at the mercy of knuckle-headed administrative decisions at work.  Plus there are sheep.  Funny sheep.  Give it a try!

Also by Willis:
Inside Job

Bellwether by Connie Willis (Spectra, 1997)


  1. This is one of my favorites of her books! Such fun.

  2. Charlotte - Glad to hear it! It's a great read. :-)

  3. Oh my word, Darla, I just read this finally, after this review kept it firmly on my radar when I was stuck with everything else. I LOVE IT. I didn't love it *quite* as much as To Say Nothing of the Dog, but that is like saying I don't like milk chocolate quite as much as dark chocolate. So packed full of awesomeness. I just bought Blackout and I so very rarely buy a book I haven't already read, but I think Connie Willis is sneaking into autobuy territory for me.

    My review will hopefully be up in the next 48 hours, if all goes well...

    1. Yay! That's fantastic! I have To Say Nothing of the Dog on my reread list - it was such fun. Have you read Impossible Things? One of my favorite short story collections. I'll be interested to hear what you think of Blackout - I haven't read that one yet.


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