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Doomsday Book: A novel of the Oxford Time Travel series (Paperback)

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Doomsday Book: A novel of the Oxford Time Travel series By Connie Willis Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Imagine a near-future where time travel is a vital part of historians' work. What better way to conduct research than by witnessing historical events first hand? For Kivrin, a young medievalist at Oxford, studying the 14th century means learning Middle English, getting inoculated against historic diseases, and inventing a story for a woman traveling alone before she is sent back in time. But when she is unexpectedly stranded in the Middle Ages and an impending crisis threatens her 21st-century professors' ability to rescue her, Kivrin has little choice but to learn how to survive the fear and superstition of one of history's darkest hours. This book is completely unexpected and magnificent and clever, and it is one of the most human books I have ever read. Willis leads her readers with a sure hand into a dance with death, and brings you out the other side with an unshakeable message of hope in the face of darkness. I still think about this book all the time, even years after I've read it. Cannot recommend it enough. 

— Rebecca S.


Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering, and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

“A tour de force.”—The New York Times Book Review

For Kivrin, preparing to travel back in time to study one of the deadliest eras in humanity’s history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin—barely of age herself—finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history’s darkest hours.

About the Author

Connie Willis has won six Nebula Awards (more than any other science fiction writer), six Hugo Awards, and for her first novel, Lincoln's Dreams, John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her novel Doomsday Book won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and her first short-story collection, Fire Watch, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her other works include To Say Nothing of the Dog, Bellwether, Impossible Things, Remake, Uncharted Territory and Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. Ms. Willis lives in Greeley, Colorado, with her family and is hard at work on her next novel, Passage.

Praise For…

“A stunning novel that encompasses both suffering and hope. . . . The best work yet from one of science fiction’s best writers.”The Denver Post

“Splendid work—brutal, gripping and genuinely harrowing, the product of diligent research, fine writing and well-honed instincts, that should appeal far beyond the normal science-fiction constituency.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“The world of 1348 burns in the mind’s eye, and every character alive that year is a fully recognized being. . . . It becomes possible to feel . . . that Connie Willis did, in fact, over the five years Doomsday Book took her to write, open a window to another world, and that she saw something there.”The Washington Post Book World

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593724330
ISBN-10: 059372433X
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 688
Language: English
Series: Oxford Time Travel

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