"Impossible Things" is the third Connie Willis book I've read and I've yet to find anybody else to writes in quite the same way. Willis is an award-winning science fiction writer, but really many of her stories are not *about* science fiction. Willis weaves innovative science fiction ideas into very personal and warm stories about people, jobs, relationships and romance. That way I've described it makes it sound a bit twee but Willis does it with a great balance that makes every story engaging, and funny.
This is science fiction with lots of heart, a bit of humour, a bit of time travel, and bite-sized chunks of techno-speak but very few giant alien spaceships.
A common theme in Willis' stories is bureaucracy taken to extremes, in which sense it is quite reminiscent of some of Douglas Adams' writing but in a much subtler way with fewer punchlines.
This is a collection of eleven stories, and as with most short story anthologies sadly not every one is a winner. Among the best are the captivating "Time Out", the bleak "Jack" (set in World War II), a fascinating new twist on the 'whatever happened to your old school friends?' question in "Chance", and the rampant run-around silliness of "Spice Pogrom". Unfortunately "Winter's Tale" is a bit of a failed homage to the Shakespeare 'conspiracy'.
Willis herself gives a very short introduction to each story, though sometimes these contain spoilers so you might be advised to read the stories first, then Willis' notes.