Connie Willis’s Blackout returns to the time travel that she explored in the Domesday Book, and brings back some of the same characters as well. Historians reasearching WWII travel from 2060 to 1940s Britain, but then have trouble getting back to the future. There’s no Marty McFly, though– instead, you’ll find lots of detail about everyday life in London during the Blitz and a huge cliff-hanger, but I really liked it. I’m glad that the follow-up All Clear is already out.
I’ll join other HBS booksellers in recommending another historical/speculative mix, A Matter of Magic by Patricia Wrede, previously published as two novels but now available in a single volume. It’s set in England during the Regency period, and features a homeless girl named Kim, who’s hired to break into the wagon of Mairelon the Magician. Instead, the magician catches her, but then takes her on as an apprentice instead of turning her in. Adventures ensue.
This is about a decade past the era I write about, but the Blitz is a fascinating study of human endurance under the shadow of immediate terror. I was telling my college students about it the other day, and sadly, none of them had heard of it.
“A Matter of Magic” sounds like a good adventure, I will keep a lookout for it!
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