Bellwether
May 28, 2022 11:06 AM - Subscribe

Dr. Sandra Foster studies fads for a company in Boulder, Colorado. Her employer, Hi-Tek, wants to know how to predict trends in order to create one. Unlikely circumstances lead Foster to meet O’Reilly, a shy chaos theorist who may hold the key to her research.

Bellwether was nominated for a Nebula award in 1997.
posted by Monochrome (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought this was delightful. Don’t be put off by the sci-fi label, this contains nothing that didn’t or couldn’t happen in its day (1996). It’s more satirical, really, than sci-fi.
posted by Monochrome at 11:09 AM on May 28


I ought to add the tag “no, really, it’s like, soooooo 90s” ... the rancher with fax machines and a cellular telephone? The crazy pretentious coffee shop? Come on!
posted by Monochrome at 11:15 AM on May 28


I like this book a whole lot (perhaps the only book of hers I like more is Passage.) To be honest, in retrospect, there's a bit of an "ugh, political correctness is the worst" undertone that grates on me a little bit now. But I don't think it destroys the rest of the book, which is a delightful workplace screwball romantic comedy with a science-y slant.
posted by kyrademon at 12:57 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I should re-read this - it is so '90s but also sort of timeless?
posted by fiercekitten at 9:07 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH

She’s gone back to this well a lot, this is still my favourite.
posted by sixswitch at 2:32 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Passage is like the Stephen King version of Bellwether.
posted by sixswitch at 2:33 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Good but the whole "those who ask me not to breathe smoke in their faces are sheeple" is so '90s, it was hard for me not to just picture Connie Willis being personally annoyed and then writing fan fiction that establishes she and her smoking buddies are not just oppressed but the free-thinking hope for the future of mankind. I'm glad the foreground plot was so charming.

I like the Connie Willis novels I've read, but also think she can overdo things. OTOH the two novellas by Connie Willis I've read (this and D.A.) have been light and charming and I keep meaning to seek more out.


PS If you have an Audible subscription, this is currently available at no additional charge.
posted by mark k at 10:32 AM on May 30


I read this one about 20 years ago, enjoyed it, and remember very little about it.

I do love Connie Willis a whole bunch though, especially the time travel series - Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and Blackout/All Clear.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 7:01 AM on May 31


yesyesyesyesyes. Connie Willis is the best and I love her. She has a way of pacing a novel/novella that doesn't let the reader catch their breath. A thing starts happening and then full tilt continues to happen through every kind of chaos until you get to the end of the book. Bellwether and To Say Nothing of the Dog are very similar in this way.

Connie Willis being personally annoyed and then writing fan fiction that establishes she and her smoking buddies are not just oppressed but the free-thinking hope for the future of mankind

Oh yeah, totally, I have to put in a little mental effort to forgive people those opinions from then, because that's exactly what addiction sounds like. I think of it like lead poisoning when evaluating culpability.
posted by Horkus at 3:11 PM on May 31


I once knew a dog named after this author.
posted by aniola at 9:21 PM on August 1


« Older Stranger Things: Chapter 4: De...   |  Stranger Things: Chapter 5: Th... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments