‘The Best Of Connie Willis’ is a collection of award-winning short stories by Connie Willis. The hefty volume also includes an introduction by the author and three of her speeches. Both the introduction and the speeches are as entertaining as the stories.
In the introduction, Willis explains why it’s hard to talk about her own stories or the process by which they journey from idea to completion. She explains that the stories often change, conceptually, as she is writing them. She says, ‘While you’re writing one story, your subconscious is busily writing another.’
I’ve had this happen! Nice to know such wandering is not the product of a disorganised mind, but more a creative side step.
Willis also talks about her introduction to and enthusiasm for the speculative fiction genres. I remembered reading the same stories and thinking the same thoughts when I fell headfirst down the rabbit hole some thirty-five years ago.
Each story in the anthology is followed by an afterword where Willis does guide the reader from seed to story. These journeys of thought are fascinating and contain a lot of interesting biographical information, making this volume essential for Connie Willis fans.
On to the stories. There are ten of them and they are, as the title of the anthology suggests, her best.