Not my favorite but Connie Willis on an off day beats the heck out of a lot of authors at their best. Willis is usually great at novellas and short fiction, but I think this one needed to be either cut back down to a short story or expanded up to a novel. As it stands it doesn't quite work. There's a bit too much going on for it to be just a vivid glimpse of another world (which would have worked), but not quite enough going on to really have much of a story or character arc (which would also have worked). So - neither fish nor fowl, really. Although there are still some wonderful bits.