Connie Willis

Connie Willis


12/31/1945, Colorado, U.S.A.

Birth Name

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis



Also Known As

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis, Elaine Willis
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Born on New Year's Eve of 1945 in Denver, Colorado, Connie Willis began writing and had her first short fiction published in 1971. Her writing was very quickly recognized for its excellence, and she received her first nomination for a Hugo Award in 1980 for her short story…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Connie Willis has published a novel called Blackout on February 2, 2010. The novel is the first book of a two-part story and once again, deals with a plot of historians from the future traveling to the past, in this case, England, during the Blitz in World War II. But there are some glitches with the time travel apparatus, leading us to wonder if the historians will ever be able to go home, again.

    • Connie's 2007 novella, D.A., is a tongue-in-cheek story about high school kids who want to be space cadets.

    • Connie Willis says that the Blitz (during WWII) is her favorite period in history, which explains why she has set so many novels and short stories in that period.

    • Connie's 1997 novel, To Say Nothing Of The Dog is difficult to find in hard cover; after having won the Hugo for Best Novel, hard cover copies of it have sold for as much as $150.00.

    • Doomsday Book is very much sought after in hard cover. Its initial hard cover print run was lower than usual; since then, it has won both the Hugo and the Nebula, and demand for hard cover copies has increased. Old copies from libraries are selling for as much as $200, and good condition first editions can bring in as much as $1,000.

    • In 2005, Connie was working on a third time-travel novel set in the same world as her two previous novels, Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing Of The Dog.

    • Connie's novella, Just Like The Ones We Used To Know (2004) was adapted into a CBS movie of the week. It aired in November, 2005 and did very well in the ratings.

    • Connie was the Guest of Honor at the L.A. Con IV (WorldCon) held in Los Angeles from August 23 - 27, 2006.

    • Connie was the Toastmaster at the 2006 Nebula Awards Weekend held in Tempe, Arizona.

    • Connie's favorite author is Robert A. Heinlein.

    • Connie's novel Doomsday Book won both the Hugo (in 1993) and the Nebula (in 1992) for best novel.

    • Her first book of short stories, Fire Watch (published 1984), was a New York Times Notable Book.

    • Connie Willis has written a book of 8 fantasy and science fiction Christmas tales called, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories.

    • She won the John W. Campbell Award in 1988 for her novel, Lincoln's Dreams.

    • Her book (published August, 2005), Inside Job, about a skeptic and his sidekick who try to debunk a psychic, is actually a 99-page novella.

    • She won the 1999 Hugo award for the book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, a book that encompasses both time travel and Chaos theory.

    • Connie has said that fury is the starting place for most of her stories, and that her husband has told her that if she couldn't write, she'd probably be a serial killer. She considers this a real possibility.

    • One of the things that Connie likes best about Science Fiction is that it defies definition because it is constantly re-inventing itself.

    • Connie has a bulldog named Gracie (after Gracie Allen), and a cat named Lori Darlin' (after the character in Lonesome Dove). She put both of them in her novel, To Say Nothing Of The Dog (1997).

    • Connie sings soprano in a Congregationalist church choir. She believes that everything a person needs to know about the world can be learned in a church choir.

    • Her Astrological sign is Capricorn.

    • She is one of the most honored science fiction writers.

    • She has won six Nebula Awards.

    • She has won eight Hugo Awards, for the best science fiction or fantasy stories.

    • She currently resides in Greeley, Colorado.

  • Quotes

    • Connie Willis: Fred Astaire is my hero. (You probably knew that if you've read Remake.) I love him because he was willing to kill himself to make his art look effortless. And because he proved it's possible to be an artist and a good person.

    • (on writing books in collaboration with Cynthia Felice)
      Connie Willis: It's really fun to collaborate. When you've written your characters into a corner, you just hand the manuscript over to your partner and make her fix it.

    • Connie Willis: One of the problems of writing a book is all the great stuff you have to leave out.

    • Connie Willis: I watched the entire O.J. Simpson trial, and he was guilty!

    • Connie Willis: When I was done with Doomsday Book, I had three loose-leaf notebooks full of research and two 8 x 12 inch boxes full of rough drafts. I have never written anything in one draft, not even a grocery list, although I have heard from friends that this is actually possible.

    • Connie Willis: I have always intensely resented it when people say, 'Literature is just escaping from life,' and 'When you read you're not really getting out there and living.' To me, the only place to find life is in books!

    • Connie Willis: Death is a major issue in my writing. My mother died suddenly when I was 12 - an astonishing, totally unexpected death. She went to the hospital to have a baby and died that night. Like Katherine Anne Porter says in Pale Horse, Pale Rider, it was 'a knife that cut across my life and chopped it in two.' Everything changed.

  • Connie writes science fiction.

    Connie Willis writes science fiction, and does a very good job at it. I haven't read all the books that she's written, but I have read quite a few, and a lot of her short stories as well. Her stories are always well-crafted, with interesting characters and plot lines. The dialogue is realistic, and the science is... well, it's science fiction, so that just about sums it up.

    She tends to write a lot of stories about time travel, particularly back to the Victorian age. Her novel "To Say Nothing of the Dog" was on that topic, and similarly, the Hugo and Nebula winning "Doomsday Book" was also about time travel, although this time, she went back to the 14th century, in plague-ridden England. Both books won awards and are very good. I enjoy reading them over and over.

    Her stories are also humorous; she manages to combine time travel, science fiction, comedy and reality all into one plot.

    So if you're looking for a good time travel novel, or an interesting short story, in the science fiction genre, Connie Willis is a good author to start with!moreless