Willis, Connie. “Ado.” The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories. Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2007.
Reason read: June is short story month.
Imagine a world where everything you could possibly say or do offends someone on some level. We are approaching that world fast and furious but Willis suspected its arrival thirty-one years ago. “Ado” is a tongue in cheek look at political correctness gone way too far. She uses the example of teaching Shakespeare to a group of students as an example. To teach the Bard the main protagonist must run it by the principal, take the particular play out of a vault, allow for students to refuse to attend the class, and then wait for the special interest groups to protest loudly. There is a computer that reads the Shakespearean text line by line to look for offensive material so that for example, a play like ‘As You Like It’ can be subject to a restraining order by the group Mothers Against Transvestites. The only safe subject is the weather. It’s such a ridiculous society you cannot help but laugh out loud while secretly shuddering over Willis’s apropos vision.
Author fact: I have more than a dozen Willis books on my Challenge list but she has written so much more.
Book trivia: The Winds of Marble Arch was nominated for a World Fantasy Award.
Nancy said: Pearl called “Ado” a “sly appraisal of where political correctness is taking us” (Book Lust p 247).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Connie Willis: Too Good To Miss” (p 246).