All about Emily

All about Emily Theater legend Claire Havilland fears she might be entering the Sunset Boulevard phase of her career That is until her manager arranges a media appearance with her biggest fan a famous artificial int

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  • Title: All about Emily
  • Author: Connie Willis J.K. Potter
  • ISBN: 9781596064522
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Theater legend Claire Havilland fears she might be entering the Sunset Boulevard phase of her career That is, until her manager arranges a media appearance with her biggest fan a famous artificial intelligence pioneer s teenage niece After precocious Emily s backstage visit, Claire decides she s in a different classic film altogether While unnaturally charming Emily swTheater legend Claire Havilland fears she might be entering the Sunset Boulevard phase of her career That is, until her manager arranges a media appearance with her biggest fan a famous artificial intelligence pioneer s teenage niece After precocious Emily s backstage visit, Claire decides she s in a different classic film altogether While unnaturally charming Emily swears she harbors no desire for the spotlight, Claire wonders if she hasn t met her very own Eve Harrington from All About Eve But the story becomes complex as dreams of fame give way to concerns about choice, free will, and identity.With this long, 17,000 word novelette, acclaimed author Connie Willis combines the glamour of old Hollywood and the eternal allure of Broadway to explore the cutting edge robotics of a richly imagined near future All About Emily is sure to join The Last of the Winnebagos, Inside Job and All Seated on the Ground as one of multiple award winner Willis seminal works.

    One thought on “All about Emily”

    1. Claire Havilland is an aging theater actress making a quick costume change for her latest Broadway production, Only Human, when her agent stops by her dressing room. She knows he's working an angle but can't quite decipher his intent when he pitches a couple of interviews. Her artfully referenced objections--using quotes from prior Broadway roles--fall on deaf ears. Within days she's greeting a famous scientist and his niece, Emily, backstage, streamed live by multiple tv stations as part of the [...]

    2. Willis has produced a large number of award winning short fiction in her career and that she knows how to write a good story at this length shows in All About Emily. It is well paced, pretty lean and yet manages to create a well developed character. I did think the ending of the story is rather abrupt. Not that when we reach that point there is much more to say but it is not the most graceful way to end a story. That being said, All About Emily is a very decent read. I don't think Willis quite r [...]

    3. ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Claire Havilland is an aging Broadway actress who considers herself too old to wear a leotard and fishnets, but is not quite ready to be called a “legend.” One of her most successful roles was playing Margo Channing in the Broadway musical adaption of the film All About Eve. When Claire meets a charming young woman named Emily, who seems to know all about Claire’s career, Claire feels threatened. Could Emily be planning to steal Claire’s career, as [...]

    4. This was a pretty fair introduction to Connie Willis. It was a tad too short for me, I read it in about 45 minutes & found it kind of hard to get very invested in the characters. It was a fine twist though, to have Claire soaking wet in the snow in the beginning & be made to think, through the many wonderful references to All About Eve (a movie that I have to watch at least once a month) that she's in such a position because she's been thrown over for Emily. Even though this didn't set m [...]

    5. Connie Willis has written four of my favorite books--Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, and All Clear. She is a brilliant author, one of the most honored science fiction writers around. However, this novella, All About Emily, was just okay. I liked it, but it was just a nice short story, nothing more. Maybe my love for her writing falls in her time travel books, since all four of the previous reads and loves are that. There were certainly interesting aspects to All About Emily, [...]

    6. A nice little appetizer to much upon while waiting for the next big book. This is a quick read - I devoured it in one evening - and while reviews so far seem to be mixed, I'm siding with those in the camp of "really liked it." Some people have said that it's an overused theme - a robot that wants to be human - and to that I say two things: One, it's a Christmas story, and what Christmas story doesn't have the same themes of want, loss, and redemption? And two, this may be a theme as old as the s [...]

    7. I've not been real impressed by any of the last few Connie Willis books that I've read. Perhaps I should have been reading her shorter work. This novella is fantastic. And yet why would anyone (even the library) pay $45 for a novella - even with really nice black-and-white artwork? Don't think I agree with the premise of this story and I certainly didn't get the movie or play references. But somewhere in hear was something that described what it meant to be human and it was worth reading and thi [...]

    8. An absolutely delightful and lovely read that will perk up your spirits and your afternoon, All About Emily is so good my only complaint is I wish it had been longer. Connie Willis has a deep knowledge and love of old movies and a sense of humor that tickles your sides and your heart. Everything she writes is just terrific and another must-read of hers is _To Say Nothing of The Dog_

    9. This was a bit disappointing - I expected it be on the far-light of the Connie Willis spectrum, but it didn't quite work for me as either light fluffy fun or real satire. It had its moments, and I think the concept was good, but it's still very slight.

    10. This novelette was really funny with an interesting message. Willis is a provocative writer and her characters are charming and complex. A very quick read.

    11. I'm a huge fan of Connie Willis' brand of speculative fiction, but have found I usually prefer her time travel tales to her other stories. However, this little novella, which I polished off during a lazy lunch hour, is charming. Willis could have expanded it and filled it with fluff to make it a full-length book, but that would have been a waste of her time and ours. Instead, this tale, lean but as charmingly curvy as each Rockette to which Claire's protege, Emily, aspires to be, gathers the his [...]

    12. Even though this subject matter is outside her famous time travel books, this is classic Willis. People who love what they do (in this case, Broadway and classic film) constantly relating their real life experiences to their obsessions. I love that about her books, because I love people who are passionate about what they do.In the tradition of science fiction writers going back to Asimov, Willis addresses the question of robots and humanity. If you build a robot that seems so human that most hum [...]

    13. I love Connie Willis. However, I continue to be slightly befuddled by her passionate love of musical theater/old movies/retro celebrity that sort of thing. It's just not my thing. It is certainly the thing of the main character in this book, though - an aging actress, who, much against her expectations, finds an emotional bond with a lifelike robot whose one dream in 'life' is to become a Rockette.Although extremely short, the book is witty, touches thoughtfully on quite a few ethical questions, [...]

    14. I've liked some Willis works and detested others. This one is sort of off the scale, because it's a mostly-lightweight Christmas story. Call it a novella if you like, I'll stick with "long short story."Willis appears to be a theatre/movie buff, or perhaps she just decided to research the heck out of it and do an info dump, but in the end all the details turn out to be relevant to the plot. And in the end we see that this fluffy piece does have a bit of punch to it, as it raises the question, (vi [...]

    15. 2.5 stars. This is a new addition to Connie Willis's growing collection of Christmas stories, first published in the December 2011 edition of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. They call it a novella, but it's barely long enough to qualify, so expect a short story.I love Willis, and this story is readable enough, but there's just not much to it. It has an old-fashioned theme - a robot with human desires, who is simultaneously a threat and an inspiration. Perhaps if I were a theater buff I'd have [...]

    16. There are never enough Connie Willis stories and my cheers for this one are extra loud because here Willis' love of screwball comedy and 20th century Americana meets I Robot. Asimov thought deeply about so many potential trouble spots in human/robot co-existence but he didn't think about the trouble that could be caused by (view spoiler)[ a stage-struck girl's love of the Rockettes (hide spoiler)]. Connie Willis did though & I'm so glad.

    17. A short novella about an aging actress who meets an android prototype. She fears that Emily the android will replace her, given that the android is beautiful, tireless, and gives flawless performances. But instead of sabotaging the young droid, she gives her the best advice she can, for reasons the reader doesn't fully understand until the end. I liked the ending; it surprised me.

    18. 1 Dec, 2012Brilliant fun, based on the old movie All About Eve (of course) but with references to many more classic movies and plays and the history of the Rockettes as well. A fun, quick, read.Recommended to fans of old movies, particularly the quick-talking comedies.***Really funny, no weeping at allPersonal copy

    19. What a fast readIt does seem that Connie Willis focuses on dialog and reflection, rather than the actual do-ing of stuff, but this one was a wonderful, super-fast read.After reading the Doomsday Tome, or There and Back Again, I just knew Willis could write a better story than that and this one did not disappoint. Wonderful exploration of art and stage and what it means to be human.

    20. I really need to meet Connie Willis someday as she seems to be incorporating all the things I love into her books. This time it's a story that weaves old movies, especially All About Eve (one of the greatest movies of all time!) into a short novella about an artificial creature who loves the theater. Loved it!!!

    21. Willis has my number, my MO, my tastes.I adored this book. Again. Rockettes? Old movies? (OH HAI THERE DESK SET), musicals. ROBOTS? This novel is short, sweet, and highlights what it means to be human.

    22. HollywoodBroadwayGlamourChristmasAmbitionArtificial intelligence. What a wonderful palette of colors for Connie Willis to use for a novella. Add a soupcon of what does it really mean to be human, and here's a winner.

    23. I really want to give this 3.5 stars. Not quite 4 IMO, but in the ballpark. Although this is fairly well-trodden territory, Willis makes the point about how it is, or will be, important not to treat artificial sentients inhumanely perhaps better than anyone else has before.

    24. Good, but not great, novella by Willis with engaging characters and a fun take on A.I. potentials (but mired a bit in nostalgic triviawhich maybe isn't a bad thing given its hooks with the plot). If you're a theater or movie fan, you'll like this one.

    25. Broadway star encounters stage struck robot, and doesn't respond the way you think she should/could/would. Compared to the author's usual doorstoppers at only 96 pages this is more like a haiku, and just like a good Show it'll take you on an emotional rollercoaster but send you away smiling.

    26. A nice quick novella to read, told in first person about AI and Broadway and the Rockettes, and essentially being human--aren't they all? Charming illustrations.

    27. Short and mildly interesting. I was pretty ticked that upon opening the book on my kindle the very first word was a f-bomb. A couple other swear words in there as well, but that was all. Content was clean in terms of storyline. I liked the characters and enjoyed a sci fi read that mainly had female characters. I always miss those in much sci fi. Lots of fun movie references and interesting reflection on the themes of personality, choice, and purpose.

    28. Emily is an artificial--a robot--programmed to be a star-struck teenager. But the real actress who meets her tumbles to her "too good to be true" natures. The plot moves on from there in a deliciously improbable romp.

    29. I read the kindle edition and somehow posted my review under the hardcover edition, which I will have to clean up at some point. But how did something that short ever get a hardcover edition?

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