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The Eternal Ingénue
April 30, 2014 12:44 PM   Subscribe

SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
posted by The Whelk (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is not the full story, just an excerpt. Am I missing a link to later parts or something?
posted by troika at 1:13 PM on April 30


And if it is meant to be just an excerpt: this was published in 2011, the full story is available.
posted by troika at 1:15 PM on April 30


That was neat! Thank you.
posted by Lynsey at 3:00 PM on April 30


This is not the full story

This was also true of the last Connie Willis novel I ever bought which had zero indication on it anywhere that it was part of series and would not stand alone. Not a classy move.
posted by srboisvert at 3:59 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


If you're talking about Blackout, she didn't have any control over that. Her publisher decided it was too long to publish as one book and split it in half.
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:55 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Her publisher could have paid an editor to cut out several of the characters, or the interminable "he ought to be here let me just run over here to look for him", "oh, she's not here, let me run the other way to look for her", "they should have been here, let me run yet another way to look for them" that take up approximately ninety thousand pages of two very thick volumes.

I like Connie Willis, but honestly? The whole book is in the last few chapters.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:12 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


Yes, but that's still her publisher's job, not hers.
posted by gingerest at 6:45 PM on April 30


I don't dispute that; I'm just saying that it didn't need to be two books. On the other hand, perhaps she's reached a point where she can tell editors to fsck off. Lots of authors seem to get there, and their books suddenly get twice as long and half as readable.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:00 PM on April 30


Definitely. That's also my explanation for what happened to George Lucas - yes men don't help channel creativity.
posted by gingerest at 7:17 PM on April 30


> Her publisher decided it was too long to publish as one book and split it in half.

Same thing happened to Peter Watts: " Behemoth is the final, ... It was, against its author's wishes, initially released as a two-volume edition ...."
posted by hank at 9:03 PM on April 30


And our own cstross had that happen with the Merchant Princes series, as I recall.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:17 PM on April 30


I was slightly pissed off with Blackout/All Clear, not so much because of the length but because despite all the detail in there, there was still some sloppy research; for instance, having characters born and raised in the UK refer to Agatha Christie's Murder in the Calais Coach, when in the UK it's always been Murder on the Orient Express. If she knew enough about Christie's life to have the details of her married name and wartime occupation she should bloody well have known that. There were a bunch of other minor errors like that which were obvious even to me as a non-historian and non-Londoner.

And then one of her Oxford-trained historians, who specialised in WW2, didn't know about the significance of Dunkirk and Bletchley Park! And yes, there was a lot of misdirection and knees-bent-running-about in Blackout/All Clear. I get the impression Willis really wanted to include as many of the wartime anecdotes she heard and read as possible, because she was really inspired by them, but I do feel she would have benefited from some tightening up and fact-checking.

Having said that, I still love her work, so thank you for bringing this one to my attention.
posted by andraste at 1:32 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


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