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8 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars A not so simple story about some clever people
I must start off this review by declaring that I am a fan of Connie Willis. Her work can be deadly serious, as in 'Passage', or much lighter as in 'To say Nothing of the Dog' but there is always an underlying humour. It is that perspective that I enjoy most in her writing. The humour is very much to the front in 'Uncharted Territory'. There is a lightness in this book...
Published 14 months ago by Mr. R. F. Harvey

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing introduction, yet inessential.
I have a pile of Connie Willis books to get through and chose this slim volume as my introduction to a well-reviewed author. It has some cute characters and a restrained level of humour; the story is particularly notable for Bult the acquisitive and pedantic alien that levies innumerable petty fines on two scientists surveilling his home-world, spending his ill-gotten...
Published on 9 Nov 2010 by Behan


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing introduction, yet inessential., 9 Nov 2010
I have a pile of Connie Willis books to get through and chose this slim volume as my introduction to a well-reviewed author. It has some cute characters and a restrained level of humour; the story is particularly notable for Bult the acquisitive and pedantic alien that levies innumerable petty fines on two scientists surveilling his home-world, spending his ill-gotten gains on gaudy and impractical tat.

The pacing is a little slow, but other reviewers who claim that nothing happens must have read a different book; there are moments of love, longing, peril, desperation and discovery, even if there is a good deal of plodding around. This is a nicely-built world and one only wishes that the characters were travelling through it more purposefully, as they tend to meander.

Not a bad introduction to an author, and if this is the least recommended of her work, then I can only look forward to reading more.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The least of WIllis' books, but still better than most, 7 Mar 2003
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Amazon Customer "m_farncombe" (Guildford UK) - See all my reviews
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So you're an explorer. You're on a virtually uncharted planet with a colleague (who you love/hate) a materialist native, a star-struck tourist and a vast, staggeringly inept and politically-correct bureaucracy. Can you write a book in which nothing much happens, and yet still make it funny, witty, insightful and memorable?
Ms Willis can, but that will not come as a surprise to fans of her later (and better) books such as 'Fire Watch' (my favourite), 'Doomsday Book' and 'To Say Nothing Of The Dog'. As with all her books, it's a love story, and although it's an inconsequential little thing it's still better than most fantasies.
I don't think I would recommend that you start here (try Bellweather) but if you like Ms Willis' works, it's worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love makes fools of us all.., 13 Aug 2013
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A SciFi set in a totalitarian state. Except, like for most of us, the protagonists are not involved in epic stories, rather try to live their lives in the backdrop of aliens and unchartered territories. A light-hearted read with multiple levels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A not so simple story about some clever people, 23 May 2013
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Mr. R. F. Harvey "greycynic" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I must start off this review by declaring that I am a fan of Connie Willis. Her work can be deadly serious, as in 'Passage', or much lighter as in 'To say Nothing of the Dog' but there is always an underlying humour. It is that perspective that I enjoy most in her writing. The humour is very much to the front in 'Uncharted Territory'. There is a lightness in this book that contrasts with the darkness of her last two works.

The problem for the reviewer is how to describe this book without spoiling the experience of reading it. The plot is simple in outline but very clever. The main players are a pair of scientists who are exploring a new planet but in her usual way the author somehow manages to make the location an important character in the story. The scientists are working with a guide who is a member of the native people. Their guide fines them every time they disturb the environment. Even leaving a human foot print behind results in a fine which their guide then spends on Internet shopping. Then they are joined by an enthusiastic young scientist who doesn't know the rules but does know a lot about mating rituals!

This is a clever story that introduces us to what I hope will turn out to be some new Connie Willis regular characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to pretty much anyone who enjoys taking an alternative look at the life, the universe and all that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Uncharted Territory, 4 Aug 2012
By 
Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
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My copy of this book has a few stories and the title is a novella.
This is not a bad tale, a couple of prospecting ambassadors from Earth are being led around a planet by a native guide which is intent on rooking them for as much value as possible. But they don't object, preferring to wrangle about who names which feature what.
A shorter tale at the end is Even the Queen, which won SF awards. Women of three generations get together to discuss a young daughter's decision to go back to having monthly periods, which no woman now needs to have. Women have risen to a greater status worldwide, as described to us by the jobs these women hold, peacekeeping envoys and so on, and they have more energy and time to get on with their lives. But the daughter is being brainwashed by a back to nature cult which wants to keep women in touch with their bodies. This is light and funny and women will read and cheer.
Enjoy.
Willis's two best novels are Doomsday Book about the plague and time travel, and To Say Nothing of the Dog, about Victorian England and time travel. Read them.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little gem, 1 Nov 2010
Although not Willis' masterpiece (arguably that might be Doomsday Book), this is a gem of a novella, with a nice twist at the end. Unlike her time-travel books and contemporaries such as Bellwether, this is a bit more of a traditional sci fi novel, set on another planet complete with aliens. But as with all of Willis' novels and short stories, it's basically a study in human nature and manners -- rather like Jane Austen in space. Charming.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for Willis Completists, 20 April 2014
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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Willis seems to be one of those rare writers -- Jonathan Lethem is another -- whose work I either really really like (Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog) or really don't like (Bellweather). Published in the aftermath of the Hugo and Nebula-winning Doomsday Book, this brief novel falls into the latter category, and it's hard not to feel like it's an earlier, unpublished work that was rushed out to take advantage of her post-award name recognition.

The book is a kind of romantic farce involving surveyors of a distant planet, mixed with a satire of political correctness. The two surveyors tromp around bickering, while their native guide continuously fines them for disturbing native flora and fauna based on some intergalactic Prime Directive fee schedule. A third person is introduced, some kerfuffle involving an oil field is invoked, but none of it really matters or is taken too seriously. The whole thing reads like a first or second draft of a section of something a larger, it stands on its own, and has a few nice gags and moments, but really doesn't get anywhere interesting. Definitely only for Willis completists.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Although the characters are interesting, the book is boring., 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Connie Willis has done 100 times better with humor in Bellwether. Thankfully, the book is short because not much ever really happens. There are minor surprises and discoveries along the way but I hoping something exciting would happen and was disappointed.
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Uncharted Territory (Thorndike Science Fiction)
Uncharted Territory (Thorndike Science Fiction) by Connie Willis (Hardcover - Jan 2000)
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