Impossible ThingsPosted: 2013/06/18
Willis, Connie. Impossible Things. New York: Bantam Books, 1994.
“Ado” is a super short story about an English teacher trying to get her class to study Shakespeare. The problem is this, every play is contested by some watchdog group. Mortician International takes offense to the word, “casket” in Act III, Students Against Suicide protest Ophelia’s drowning, and so on. Even the students are allowed to refuse to learn a subject. Willis prefaced the story with an explanation, “political correctness is getting out of hand” (p 115).
“At the Rialto” had me laughing from the very first pages. Dr. Ruth Baringer is a quantum physicist attending a chaos conference in Hollywood, California. Only she can’t even check into her room because her name isn’t in the registry. In fact, nothing is where it’s supposed to be. Rooms where lectures are supposed to be occurring either have talks on channeling or stand empty. To make matters worse there is a colleague who is hell bent on trying to distract Dr. Baringer from attending a single lecture even if it is the wrong one. The chaos is just trying to attend the conference on chaos.
Reason read: June is National Short Story month.
Author fact: Oddly enough I couldn’t find an award for Impossible Things which seems entirely impossible because Willis has won awards for nearly everything else she has written.
Book trivia: Impossible Things is made up of eleven stories of which I only read two.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Connie Willis: Too Good To Miss” (p 247).