Doomsday Book

Willis, Connie. Doomsday Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1992.
Willis, Connie. Doomsday Book. Read by Jenny Sterlin.

Reason read: Connie Willis was born in the month of December. Read in her honor. Confessional: this book is nearly 600 pages long so I decided to start it early.

I don’t know why I get so nervous about reading science fiction. I really shouldn’t when it comes to Connie Willis. I have enjoyed everything I had read from her so far and Doomsday Book is no different. In a word Doomsday Book is brilliant. Young and ambitious student historian Kivrin has been eagerly preparing to leave her 21st century world for that of fourteenth century Oxford. Wearing a costume proper for women of the era? Check. Middle English language lessons completed? Check. Customs training for her alibi for a woman traveling alone? Check. Proper inoculations for illnesses of the day? Check. Or it is check with a question mark? Her instructors back in 2054 had made painstaking calculation to ensure she would arrive decades before the Black Death, but is it possible she slipped twenty eight years passed the targeted date? Did she arrive at ground zero at the exact wrong time? Strangely enough, the 21st century is suffering an epidemic of its own. Modern day Oxford is quarantined and fear bordering on panic runs rampant.
This is a story of parallel tragedies and the human nature that transcends all time…despite being “sci-fi.”

Author fact: at the time of publication Willis lived in Greeley, Colorado. Such a beautiful place!

Book trivia: Doomsday Book won both the Hugo and Nebula award for science fiction.

Nancy said: in Book Lust, “many people believe Doomsday Book Willis’s most accomplished novel (p 246). In More Book Lust, nothing other than to list it as a time travel book.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Connie Willis: Too Good To Miss” (p 246). Also from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Time Travel” (p 221).



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