Hilarious little novella based around a paradox Can the existence of a disembodied spirit prove that a channeler claiming to communicate with spirits is a fraud Our protagonist, Rob, is a freelance journalist and professional skeptic His assistant, Kildy, is a gorgeous and wealthy Hollywood type moonlighting in the field Rob has a crush on Kildy, but fears she s far out of his league.It s Kildy who s picked out the latest target for an expos The New Age charlatan Ariaura, who channels the Hilarious little novella based around a paradox Can the existence of a disembodied spirit prove that a channeler claiming to communicate with spirits is a fraud Our protagonist, Rob, is a freelance journalist and professional skeptic His assistant, Kildy, is a gorgeous and wealthy Hollywood type moonlighting in the field Rob has a crush on Kildy, but fears she s far out of his league.It s Kildy who s picked out the latest target for an expos The New Age charlatan Ariaura, who channels the spirit Isus and sells her adoring audience overpriced swag.But when Ariaura, mid lecture, starts spouting shocking and off script announcements that seems like they could only have come from the mind of the notorious atheist and skeptic H.L Mencken deceased , Rob has to worry is Kildy setting him up As expected from Connie Willis, extra fun 4.0 stars Having been underwhelmed by some of Connie Willis short fiction, I was surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of a paranormal debunker who comes across a very unusual case Smart, funny and very well plotted Recommended Winner Hugo Award for Best NovellaNominee Locus Award for Best Novella. 3.5 Inside Job is a humorous story of a sceptic journalist Rob, who is in the business of debunking, his wonderful assistant Kilby and their strange and new experience with the spirit world His lovely employee Kildy left the glamorous life of a film star to work with him He hasn t got any idea why She is too good to be true and he keeps waiting for that inevitable day when she ll get bored and leave Kildy is lovely Kildy has found a new target for them to debunk a woman who claims she ch 3.5 Inside Job is a humorous story of a sceptic journalist Rob, who is in the business of debunking, his wonderful assistant Kilby and their strange and new experience with the spirit world His lovely employee Kildy left the glamorous life of a film star to work with him He hasn t got any idea why She is too good to be true and he keeps waiting for that inevitable day when she ll get bored and leave Kildy is lovely Kildy has found a new target for them to debunk a woman who claims she channels an entity called Isus In the middle of her performance the medium Ariaura starts something completely new A new personality appears and Rob doesn t know what is going on anyCute, fun and lovely overall A psychic de bunker, his beautiful assistant, and a very unusual skeptic H.L Mencken all combine to debunk Hollywood scam artists pretending to channel mystical spirits.But for those of you who want to contact great grandpa and find out where he buried the diamonds then send money now Enjoy Too cold, too distant The writing was OK, but at no point did I care about any of the characters The story is about charlatans and gurus, mediums of all sorts who perform cheap theatrical tricks, make gullible people believe, and extract good money from their victims for the privilege to be conned The protagonist makes his living debunking such conmen, and most of the story is a preaching by the author about the harm the unethical quacks inflict on everyone and the need to take them down The Too cold, too distant The writing was OK, but at no point did I care about any of the characters The story is about charlatans and gurus, mediums of all sorts who perform cheap theatrical tricks, make gullible people believe, and extract good money from their victims for the privilege to be conned The protagonist makes his living debunking such conmen, and most of the story is a preaching by the author about the harm the unethical quacks inflict on everyone and the need to take them down There is also tons of info about Henry Louis Mencken 1880 1956 , the influential American journalist and satirist who routinely made fun of the fraudsters of his time I didn t know the name of Mencken before I read this book I never wanted to know I still don t, but the author shoved his quotes and opinions down my throat I didn t like this novella at all ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.I have a goal of eventually reading all of the major SFF award winners, including novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories, so that s why I picked up Connie Willis s Inside Job when I saw that it was available on audio Inside Job won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2006 Just a couple of months ago, by the way, Connie Willis received the SFWA Grand Master Award January 2012.Inside Job is a story about Rob, a professional debunker of pseudoscie ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.I have a goal of eventually reading all of the major SFF award winners, including novels, novellas, novelettes, and short stories, so that s why I picked up Connie Willis s Inside Job when I saw that it was available on audio Inside Job won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2006 Just a couple of months ago, by the way, Connie Willis received the SFWA Grand Master Award January 2012.Inside Job is a story about Rob, a professional debunker of pseudoscience, and his new partner Kildy Ross, a beautiful and famous actress They attend s ances and visit faith healers, psychics, and palm readers, always figuring out how these hucksters are cheating the gullible and publishing their findings in their magazine, The Jaundiced Eye.Mostly it s the same thing over and over an earpiece, hidden wires, a confederate in the right place Their latest case, however, is the toughest one ever When they attend a seminar by the new psychic in town, Ariaura Keller, she begins channeling the spirit of H.L Mencken, the famous skeptic who reported on the Scopes Trial and famously said, Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people Rob and Kildy are determined to discover how Ariaura is channeling Mencken But,puzzling, why would a psychic who makes money tricking her audience be regaling them with monologues by H.L Mencken The resulting investigation is exciting, suspenseful, full of delicious logical quandaries, and often very funny.Eventually the reader wonders if there s such a thing as being too skeptical At some point, you have to have faith in something or someone What kind of relationship would you have with your loved ones, for example, if you kept demanding irrevocable proof when they said they loved you Inside Job was a quick read and a fun and educational story with likable characters and a delightfully silly plot I listened to Audible Frontiers version which was narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris, who I liked very much The audio version is 2 hours long and costs about 7 at Audible.com Or you can read the full text of Inside Job for free at Asimov s I ve said it before, and I ll say it again Connie Willis is incapable of writing bad stuff She has a great concept professional skeptics debunking charlatans , twists three very good ones, including a very satisfying end twist , and characters right out of a good film noir Easy to fall into, easy to enjoy, and easy to give 5 stars. Professional debunker Rob, proprietor of the Jaundiced Eye magazine, considers himself incredibly lucky to have Kildy as his sole employee Smart, dedicated, gorgeous, and, thanks to her last movie before she hung up on Hollywood, rich, she s a pleasure to oblige when she says Rob has to witness this channeler Ariaura s act on her, not the Eye s, nickel despite channelers being so last year It s quite a show, all right, for in the midst of Ariaura s particular ancient wise guy s basso spiel, a gravelly baritone interrupts both voices emanate from the channeler s female mouth to berate the audience as yaps and the act as claptrap Why is Ariaura undermining herself Or is she After all, she angrily accuses Rob and Kildy of scheming to destroy her Could the baritone belong to a genuine channeled spirit Willis, one of sf s most spirited writers, rounds on the New Age pays tribute to a great, skeptical journalist and affectionately parodies pulp fiction at its best in this irresistible entertainment Purchased as part of a Humble Bundle a while back.So in this fantastical tale, a professional skeptic who exposes charlatans claiming to talk to spirits and channel supernatural beings, is confronted with one who appears to be channeling the deceased atheist H L Mencken, who himself railed against charlatans, creationism, God, the Bible, and was champion of the truth.While well written and suspenseful, the worldview bias is crystal clear. INSIDE JOB won the Hugo for best novella in 2006 didn t even know that was an award I knew they awarded for short stories, but not for novella I wonder how many high quality science fiction novellas are published every year Anyway, I enjoyed this breezy, over in a heartbeat book from Connie Willis I have liked Willis in the past DOOMSDAY BOOK, TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG and recently hated her BLACKOUT I was really let down by BLACKOUT as time travel and WW2 and Willis seemed a perfect fit INSIDE JOB won the Hugo for best novella in 2006 didn t even know that was an award I knew they awarded for short stories, but not for novella I wonder how many high quality science fiction novellas are published every year Anyway, I enjoyed this breezy, over in a heartbeat book from Connie Willis I have liked Willis in the past DOOMSDAY BOOK, TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG and recently hated her BLACKOUT I was really let down by BLACKOUT as time travel and WW2 and Willis seemed a perfect fit What a shame I just didn t like that book at all I haven t even bothered with part two despite the time travel WW2 angle two things I love I just don t want to feel let downagain INSIDE JOB, being a novella, is way less ambitious than some of herepic, time travel and historical novels This readslike a light comedy that involves spiritualists, skeptics, romance and trying to prove channeling is a fraud Fun, light reading I actually read this over a couple of lunch breaks at work