To Say Nothing of the Dog

by Connie Willis

Publishers Weekly FYI: Willis's "The Soul Selects Her Own Society..." has won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.

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Book list When wealthy dowager Lady Schrapnell endows Oxford's mid-twenty-first-century time-travel project, she also dragoons it into an epochal treasure hunt among earlier eras, especially Victorian England, where lurks the hideous great gewgaw referred to in the subtitle.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list What a stitch! Willis' delectable romp through time from 2057 back to Victorian England, with a few side excursions into World War II and medieval Britain, will have readers happily glued to the pages. Rich dowager Lady Schrapnell has invaded Oxford University's time travel research project in 2057, promising to endow it if they help her rebuild Coventry Cathedral, destroyed by a Nazi air raid in 1940. In effect, she dragoons almost everyone in the program to make trips back in time to locate items--in particular, the bishop's bird stump, an especially ghastly example of Victorian decorative excess. Time traveler Ned Henry is suffering from advanced time lag and has been sent, he thinks, for rest and relaxation to 1888, where he connects with fellow time traveler Verity Kindle and discovers that he is actually there to correct an incongruity created when Verity inadvertently brought something forward from the past. Take an excursion through time, add chaos theory, romance, plenty of humor, a dollop of mystery, and a spoof of the Victorian novel, and you end up with what seems like a comedy of errors but is actually a grand scheme "involving the entire course of history and all of time and space that, for some unfathomable reason, chose to work out its designs with cats and croquet mallets and penwipers, to say nothing of the dog. And a hideous piece of Victorian artwork." --Sally Estes

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.