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A sociologist who studies fads and a chaos theorist are brought together by a strange misdelivered package. This book has all the wit and clever writing that characterized Willis' earlier Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Here-and-now speculative yarn involving chaos theory and statistical prediction, from the author of the fine Doomsday Book (1992), etc. Employed by the HiTek company, Sandra Foster is trying to develop a theory that can predict how and why fads and trends begin. But her attempts to computerize her data (mostly in the form of magazine and newspaper clippings) are constantly frustrated by the awful Flip, the erratic, forgetful, careless interdepartmental assistant. Still, Flip does lead Sandra to meet biologist Bennett O'Reilly, who thinks he's discovered a hidden factor within current chaos theories. As Flip blunders about--ghastly black lipstick, weird clothes, faddish accessories, attitude problem and all-- Sandra and Bennett decide to set up a joint project to test their ideas on the behavior of a flock of sheep. HiTek's management heartily approves--such a project might well win the coveted Niebnitz Grant. Sandra and Bennett learn that a bellwether sheep unconsciously acts as a catalyst to determine the entire flock's behavior. Bingo! Flip, while seeming totally incompetent, unknowingly acts as a human bellwether, causing fads and trends to crystallize around her as she lurches chaotically through life. Willis's intriguing notion comes across with the authority of a genuine insight--and probably merits a more dramatic and thoroughgoing workout than the agreeable but bland treatment it receives here. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I first heard this book when CBC Radio used to have the budget to do things like read books on the air as serials. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Dowker
I love this book to death! It's marketed as science fiction -- mainly because Connie Willis is a science-fiction author -- but I don't think it really is. Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Aimee
Willis' apt observations of fads, crowds, and group behavior were spot-on. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Melissa McCauley
I read this book for a Book Club and was disappointed because it really is not discussion material. There is one clever idea about society having bellwether individuals which is... Read morePublished on May 25 2004
After reading the Doomsday book, I was not prepared for such a light-hearted and witty book on fads, chaos theory with just a dollop of romance. Read morePublished on March 5 2004 by V. Pradhan
It's hard to whole-heartedly laugh at the humor in Bellwether, as it's probably too close to a nerve for most of its readers daily lives. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2003 by frumiousb
Somewhat lighter than her usual style and very funny. Her Dilbertian portrayal of the workplace, and in particular the relationship between those obsessed with their jobs and... Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003 by W. A. Livesley
It's amazing that every book Connie Willis writes is completely different from any other. My personal favorites are her time travel books, particularly "To Say Nothing of the... Read morePublished on July 2 2003
This is a great book, and I highly recommend it. It is laugh out loud funny. It is an easy read, with questionable "science" but tons of character (I mean the book has... Read morePublished on June 27 2003 by L. Peppin