Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Wed Jan 26 13:51:47 EST 2000


I haven't got to grips with the list of authors in Nat's survey yet, but I'd
like to thank the six(?) of you who voted for Connie Willis, thus making her
first equal with Heyer, and bringing to my notice an author I'd never heard of

I went down to the local library and looked up Willis on the database.  Two
works had copies notionally on the shelves, and I managed to find "Doomsday
Book".  I have just finished reading it, and I think it is _excellent!_


I have minor nitpicks: mainly things that show her up to be American, like the
role of the National Trust, who seem to be more like English Heritage, and the
use of certain British expressions that were out of date ("trunk call" springs
to mind) even when she wrote the book, but the overall impression is one of
excellence.  I shall certainly be on the lookout for more where that came

While we're on the subject, Dave Wolverton wrote (quoted by Melissa):

(You'll find similar treatments in most literary genres today.  Even in
fantasy, no religion is ever depicted as being good.  Religious leaders
are immediately recognizable as "evil" cultists.)

This at least seems to be changing:  Father Roche in Doomsday Book is a good
example, as is Umru in Dark Lord of Derkholm.  I seem to remember a devout
priest somewhere in Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar books - who converted Fafhrd to the
cult of Issek...

However, Willis does follow the trend of not presenting Christianity as a whole
as good - I found it disappointing that none of the main characters found any
comfort in religion, even Dunworthy, who seemed to know his Bible very well.
(Loved to hate the modern translation of Luke 2, though!)

Anyway, enough rambling for now.


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