Terra incognita Three tales

Connie Willis

Book - 2018

"Three classic sci fi tales that brilliantly illuminate the current human condition through social satire, now together in one collection from the Nebula and Hugo award-winning author of Blackout. This collection contains three previously published novellas: Uncharted Territory is both a love story and a shameless expose of the dark side of political correctness, where planetary surveyors battle hostile terrain, bureaucratic red tape, and renegade "planet crashers." Remake explore...s the timeless themes of emotion and technology, reality and illusion, where moviemaking's been computerized and live-action films are a thing of the past and all one starry-eyed young woman wants to do is the impossible: dance in the movies. D.A. follows a young space cadet--aided by her hacker best friend--who will stop at nothing to uncover the conspiracy that has her tied up"--

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Subjects
Genres
Science fiction
Novellas
Published
New York : Del Rey, an imprint of Random House [2018]
Language
English
Physical Description
323 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781524796860
1524796867
Main Author
Connie Willis (author)
  • Uncharted territory
  • Remake
  • D.A.
Review by Booklist Reviews

These three previously published novellas about our future may come from the past, but the topics they lampoon still feel pertinent (though perhaps no longer groundbreaking). In the farcical "Uncharted Territory" (1994), two surveyors investigating an alien planet babysit a tourist, who knows of their "adventures" through soapy dramatizations on Earth. Willis uses a light touch to satirize how the government's labyrinthine rules for preserving indigenous cultures run counter to their mission. In "Remake" (1995), live-action movies have been replaced by endless remakes starring digitized versions of dead actors. The narrator is a cynical digital editor, until he meets a woman determined to dance in a real movie. Bursting with film references, the story uses the entertainment industry's love of sequels and retellings to explore a future where creativity and talent matter less than nostalgia and marketability. In "D.A" (2007), a teen-centered novella of sanctioned rebellion, a high-school student uncovers the conspiracy that led to her being sent into space to attend a prestigious academy, despite not having applied. This is a solid collection for the classic-sf fan. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

SFWA Grand Master Willis, noted for science fiction novels that range from harrowing (Doomsday Book) to hilarious (To Say Nothing of the Dog), displays her penchant for screwball satire in these three previously published novellas, which have not really withstood the test of time. 1994's "Uncharted Territory" takes place on an alien planet and involves three human surveyors and their indigenous sentient scout, whose adventures are dramatized back on Earth. Willis uses the planetary romance as a vehicle to satirize bureaucracy, political correctness, and gender identification. 1995's "Remake" takes place in a near-future Hollywood (featuring the Trump Chinese Theatre), where live movie-making has been replaced by digital images of deceased stars that are pasted into endlessly recycled remakes of film classics. The movie references come fast and furious as a CGI programmer meets a young woman whose dream is to dance in an actual movie. In 2007's "D.A.", which parodies Robert A. Heinlein's "juvenile" novels, a high school girl is shanghaied into the prestigious International Space Academy and sets out to prove that she is the victim of a conspiracy. Once cutting-edge, these works now feel dated, proving that science fiction satire has a short half-life. (Aug.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Three classic sci-fi tales from the Nebula and Hugo award-winning author of Blackout are now contained within one volume and include Uncharted Territory, in which planetary surveyors battle hostile terrain, bureaucratic red tape and renegade “planet crashers.” Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Three classic sci fi tales that brilliantly illuminate the current human condition through social satire, now together in one collection from the Nebula and Hugo award-winning author of Blackout. This collection contains three previously published novellas: Uncharted Territory is both a love story and a shameless expose of the dark side of political correctness, where planetary surveyors battle hostile terrain, bureaucratic red tape, and renegade "planet crashers." Remake explores the timeless themes ofemotion and technology, reality and illusion, where moviemaking's been computerized and live-action films are a thing of the past and all one starry-eyed young woman wants to do is the impossible: dance in the movies. D.A. follows a young space cadet--aided by her hacker best friend--who will stop at nothing to uncover the conspiracy that has her tied up"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

THREE CLASSIC SCI-FI NOVELLAS IN ONE VOLUME—from a Hugo and Nebula award-winning author  In Terra Incognita, Connie Willis explores themes of love and mortality while brilliantly illuminating the human condition through biting satire. Uncharted Territory Findriddy and Carson are explorers, dispatched to a distant planet to survey its canyons, ridges, and scrub-covered hills. Teamed with a profit-hungry indigenous guide of indeterminate gender and an enthusiastic newcomer whose specialty is mating customs, the group battles hostile terrain as they set out for unexplored regions. Along the way, they face dangers, discover treasures, and soon find themselves in an alien territory of another kind: exploring the paths and precipices of sex—and love.Remake In the Hollywood of the future, live-action movies are a thing of the past. Old films are computerized and ruthlessly dissected, actors digitally ripped from one film and thrust into another. Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe in A Star Is Born? No problem. Hate the ending? Change it with the stroke of a key. Technology makes anything possible. But a starry-eyed young woman wants only one thing: to dance on the big screen. With a little magic and a lot of luck, she just may get her happy ending.D.A.  Theodora Baumgarten is baffled and furious: Why was she selected to be part of a highly competitive interstellar cadet program? After all, she never even applied. But that hasn’t stopped the powers that be from whisking her onto a spaceship bound for the prestigious Academy. With her protests ignored, Theodora takes matters into her own hands, aided by her hacker best friend, to escape the Academy and return to Earth—only to uncover a conspiracy that runs deeper than she could have imagined.Praise for Terra Incognita“Willis’s lively, funny forays into futuristic territory shine as brightly today as when originally released. . . . In all three stories, the protagonists find their narrow concepts of life challenged and expanded by possibilities created through technology. As a collection, these smart, accessible shorts make for an entertaining initiation or reintroduction into the world of one of sci-fi's greatest treasures.”—Shelf Awareness  “A master of fantasy playfully combines science fiction with other genres in three antic novellas. . . . Clever, funny, thought-provoking, and sweet, these stories are classic Willis.”—Kirkus Reviews