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Doomsday Book: 08/13/08

Doomsday Book (1992) by Connie Willis takes place in the same world as To Say Nothing of the Dog (1997). In 1993 it won a Hugo and Nebula and the Best Science Fiction novel from Locus Magazine.

Kivrin travels back to 14th century Oxfordshire at Christmas time. She's there to experience a mediaeval Christmas but influenza and later the blue illness puts Kivrin at risk. Meanwhile in 2054, her Oxford colleagues are dealing with their own influenza outbreak and are under quarantine to avoid another pandemic during the Christmas holiday.

The "Doomsday Book" of the novel's title is Kivrin's record of her travels. She originally calls it her "Domesday Book" after named after the Survey commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085. The book slowly transforms into the "Doomsday book" as events make Kivrin believe this book will be the record of her death.

With so many fantasy books where someone from the present travels to the past, the present-day hero usually can save the people of the past with his or her knowledge of "modern science." Connie Willis doesn't give Kivrin that power, nor does she make disease easy to beat in the future. Yes, the methods are more advanced but epidemics and pandemics are still possible.

Comments (6)

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Comment #1: Thursday, August, 14, 2008 at 12:40:32

Cilfton Wade


Comment #2: Friday, August, 15, 2008 at 22:14:23


Great but depressing."

Comment #3" Thursday, August, 14, 2008 at 20:47:58


I really enjoyed this book."

Comment #4: Friday, August, 15, 2008 at 22:16:25


Me too but it took a lot out of me emotionally."

Comment #5: Friday, August, 15, 2008 at 16:41:43

Angela J

I'd like this."

Comment #6: Friday, August, 15, 2008 at 22:20:34


Your local library probably has a copy."

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