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A Lot Like Christmas: Stories

av Connie Willis

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
14212147,563 (4.11)27
"Holiday stories and traditions enchantingly reimagined--with an insightfully satirical twist. Featuring five stories new to this collection, plus seven previously published stories, now all collected together for the first time. From the award-winning author of Crosstalk"--

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I really enjoyed this collection of Connie Willis' short stories. Some are more sci-fi than others, and a couple are downright fantasy, but they are all enjoyable. Though there were some I liked more than the rest, there wasn't a single one that I didn't enjoy. I also really appreciated Willis' explanation of her take on the Christmas-themed story in the Introduction.

This collection contains the Hugo-winning "All Seated on the Ground," which is one of my all-time favorite stories by Connie Willis. It combines aliens and science research and choirs. What more could you want? ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Jan 15, 2021 |
What a sweetheart the author is. She gave us a gift because as she quotes from Little Women "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without any gifts." She said, as I'm sure we all do, she enjoys discovering a book in a book. For example, a book a character is reading is like a recommendation. So she gives us recommendations as a gift: "Great Christmas Movies to Watch", "Christmas Stories and Poems to read in bed" and some "TV shows that haven't succumbed to Very Special Christmas Episode syndrome". Thank-you, I love my gift!

-Now Showing • (2014) • novella 5* I read this in a different book: Rogues. It was my introduction to the author. I had great fun reading it.

-All Seated on the Ground • (2007) • novella 3* A classic Connie Willis story. This is exactly what you expect when you read a story by her. I liked this one but would never read again. Aliens visit earth and the MCs are trying to figure out how to communicate with them. They noticed the aliens react to "All Seated on the Ground" in a Christmas Carol so that is their starting point.

-Miracle (1991) • novelette
-All About Emily • (2011) • novella
-Inn • (1993) • novelette
-In Coppelius' Toyshop • (1996) • short story
-Adaptation • (1994) • novelette
-deck.halls@boughs/holly • (2001) • novella
-Cat's Paw • (1999) • novella
-Newsletter • (1997) • novelette
-Epiphany • (1999) • novella
-Just Like the Ones We Used to Know • (2003) • novella
  Seayla2020 | Nov 21, 2020 |
Connie Willis is really good at short stories, fascinated by Christmas, and clever at finding new ways of seeing that holiday and using it in fiction. I’ve read a number of these stories in other collections already, but I think I enjoyed those only slightly less for all that, and the newer pieces? Fun and thought-provoking. Some good social critique throughout too—a woman who smuggles Joseph and Mary into her church when the paster wants to call the homeless shelter, the aliens who make contact and then don’t respond to anything until they’re taken Christmas shopping, the madness of the holiday Christmas party, the girl who really wants to see the holiday heist film. I didn’t even have that Thing where every short story collection has a dud or two!

But … I’m also growing very aware that Willis has, like, one plot. The narrator always dithers or is confronted with mildly random, zany roadblocks that make them go almost in circles, there’s often a hyper-awareness of something like Christmas carols or classic Hollywood cinema, and everything turns out all right in the end almost despite itself. Don’t get me wrong, Willis is very good at that plot and equally good at making it different every time but … I wish she’d mix it up a little more, y’know?

Still, if you want funny, mildly science fictional stories appropriate to the season, you won’t go wrong with these at all.

Warnings: … nope? But it’s pretty White and straight.

7/10 ( )
1 rösta NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
Connie Willis's Christmas stories are little symphonies of dialogue, disorganization, and conflict with the modern world in which optimism triumphs and romance succeeds. Her sadder writing is often incredibly powerful because she knows how to grab your heart and squeeze, but I prefer her comic work for the same reason. This is a delightful anthology with many original ideas, and the one that sticks with me best is the one about the visiting aliens who disapprove. ( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
I've always been a big fan of Connie Willis and so I couldn't really find any fault in reading an actual Christmas story (or stories) EVEN on XMAS if it was coming from her. Sometimes you've simply got to pick your battles, and Connie Willis is like the John Mclaine of Xmas Stories.

I'm not saying she strangles Xmas with a chain or uses wildly inappropriate western sayings. I mean, she could, I'm sure, but that isn't what happens here. She might get a bit angry at It's a Wonderful Life, however, so all these lines do blur.


I suppose the one thing I love most about these is how Connie Willis's storytelling skill is nearly perfect no matter the sub-genre she twists it. I mean, these Xmas stories are all genuinely uplifting while avoiding sentimentality, very critical and humorous in equal amounts, and a great number of them are filled with the dead or futuristic worlds or even a murder mystery involving apes.

Yes, apes. Merry Xmas!

Above all, every one of these stories is easy as hell to read, are down-to-earth, full of fantastic human consequences, and is full to the brim with humor. I won't say that any of them are knock-down brilliant... but in terms of reading a master storyteller who knows her craft and has well-researched probably EVERYTHING about Xmas from stories to movies to poetry from a lifelong obsession, she can't be beat. She covers all the angles, from dark revenge stories to romantic comedies to murder mysteries to time and space traveling Aramaic-speakers to aliens in a hunt for JUST THE RIGHT GREETING to a VERY white Xmas.

And I have to agree with her. It's a Wonderful Life is FLAWED as hell. :)

I never read the other collection of Xmas stories, which might be a blessing in disguise. Even so, there are five new ones in this book. Either way, it doesn't really matter. I can read her stuff all day long. :)

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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"Holiday stories and traditions enchantingly reimagined--with an insightfully satirical twist. Featuring five stories new to this collection, plus seven previously published stories, now all collected together for the first time. From the award-winning author of Crosstalk"--

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