The Book of the Week is Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. This is a signed and inscribed copy of the trade paperback first printing (cover art by Tim Jacobus), issued simultaneously with the extremely rare hardcover edition.
First published in 1992, Doomsday Book won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Best Novel (sharing the Hugo with Vernor Vinge's excellent A Fire Upon the Deep) and has quickly become a classic of the science fiction field. Doomsday Book tells of a young historian who travels in time to England's plague years. It is perhaps the best example of Connie Willis's remarkable ability to write stories that are both very funny and terribly sad.
Connie Willis is a charming person, a delightful public speaker, and absurdly generous with her time. She has twice traveled out from Greeley to meet with our book group - Denver SF & Fantasy Book Club - and last month came out to talk with a group of 4th and 5th graders at my son's school after the students read Doomsday Book. Ms. Willis is always in great demand as a toastmaster at science fiction and fantasy conventions. Last month she hosted the Nebula Awards banquet, presenting the awards voted upon by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. And with that segue, next week's Book of the Week will be in honor of the writer named Author Emeritus at that banquet.