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Author: Connie Willis
Pop culture, chaos theory and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula winning author of Doomsday Book. — Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a mis...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780553562965
ISBN-10: 0553562967
Publication Date: 6/2/1997
Pages: 247
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 123 ratings
Publisher: Spectra
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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reviewed Bellwether on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I love this book to death! It's marketed as science fiction -- mainly because Connie Willis is a science-fiction author -- but I don't think it really is. It's a novel about science and scientists. It's also a wacky, screwball romantic comedy. It's a great deal of fun! Lighthearted and funny, but it also deals with some deeper issues -- specifically, the nature of scientific discovery. It was a joy to read.
reviewed Bellwether on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It is hard to categorize but the fads are interesting. It was a fun read.
reviewed Bellwether on + 168 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book in one night, loved it. This was my third Connie Willis book and I was prepared for something bad to happen at the end. The previous two books I had read contained endings with unexpected (for me, at least) deaths. However, I was pleasantly surprised this time around. I don't want to give away any spoilers ... but I was so, so happy with the ending.

I really liked the main character. Laughed out loud at quite a few bits. I also learned a lot from this book. Not only was it great fiction, but now I feel like I can at least pretend to be a chaos theorist!

Would definitely recommend this book to others.
reviewed Bellwether on
Helpful Score: 1
Delightful, fun, and even insightful. This is a shorter Willis read which demonstrates her diversity (sometimes I wonder how she can be categorized as a sci fi writer when so much of her stories are really anything but), and her ability to engage the reader in entertainment and contemplation at once. Her talent as a storyteller and character creator, and the considerable research that weaves seamlessly into her stories is evident here. Highly recommended.
reviewed Bellwether on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting story focused around finding the bellwether of the fads. I particularly liked all the pieces about past fads, what was believed to contribute to them and what replaced them. It tied in really well with the book The Tipping Point which also discusses fads and what moves them from a small incident to a full fledged fad. The story didn't have much of a plot and was more of a vehicle to explain how a bellwether works. Having lived in Montana and around Boulder, I could appreciate the location and the references.
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reviewed Bellwether on + 774 more book reviews
A very different take on marketing and trends than the one presented in William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition!" Still, this book has some similarities: they're both non-sci-fi novels by authors known for their science fiction, and they both deal, thematically, with the human tendency toward fads.' However, where Gibson's character Cayce has an almost psychic attunement to these trends, Willis' narrator is a much less glamorous, stressed-out researcher who's trying to understand how and why trends happen by attempting to track down the source of past fads. Plagued by the uniquely-fashionable but totally incompetent assistant, Flip (who is nearly the exact same character as Bubbles' in Absolutely Fabulous [at least, I kept seeing her]), her work takes her through the maze of academic research institutions, bureaucratic red tape and illogical management, a mysteriously attractive scientist who seems to be immune to trends to say nothing of the flock of sheep! ;-)
I didn't think this book was quite as good as either of the other Willis books I've read, but it was still definitely a fun and witty read.
reviewed Bellwether on
Around page 70 I started to wonder if this book was going anywhere. Which isn't to say it wasn't enjoyable reading. I typically find Willis' writing to be a bit repetitive but this book also didn't seem to have a point. After finishing the book I can better see the context of the earlier chapters though I do feel like this was really the first half of what could have been a really exciting story.

Still I enjoyed this little novel. It's light, easy reading with a bit of a twist near the end. Recommended for reading on the bus or at the beach.
reviewed Bellwether on + 39 more book reviews
Willis' books, all of which are excellent, are either horribly bleak tragedies or madcap romances. I like the madcap romances best, and this is one of the best of those. Cloche hats! Sheep! Grantwriting! This book is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Four stars.