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Crosstalk by Connie Willis


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A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

One of the most popular contemporary American SF authors, Willis alternates between intricate thrillers, often involving travel into the past, and light-hearted divertimentos, often featuring cats. Her new novel fits firmly into the second category, a romantic comedy full of fluff and guilty pleasures. Briddey, spawn of an eccentric Irish-American family, is a high-powered executive in the communications industry, madly in love with her partner Trent. She is offered an opportunity to try an EDD, a new procedure reminiscent of telepathy that would allow each partner to experience what the other does. But, of course, it's soon a recipe for gentle disaster as paradoxes, mistakes, cross-wires or brains, breathless adventures and whole sorts of madcap events pile on top of each other. The technological love story as obstacle course. Had me chortling away. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Simon Spanton's view...

Perhaps best known in the UK for Doomsday Book, her timeslip SF novel set at the time of the Black Death, this award-winning American author is back with something very different and very engaging. Set in the present day Crosstalk is easy on the science but deftly deals with issues around technology that are changing society and perhaps even us. It is set in the world of the mobile phone industry and revolves around Briddey a young and high-powered exec who finds herself at the centre of a technological development that could have ramifications for us all.

The EED is an implant that allows the user to sense the feelings of their partner. So when Briddey’s new lover, Trent, suggests they get the implants it feels like an amazing expression of love and commitment – to know your lover’s feelings; what could be better? But with the EED in place Briddey quickly realises that she can sense not just Trent’s feelings but also hear his thoughts. And if she can hear his thoughts…

Willis’ novel feels as if its pulled from today’s headlines and it plays on our fascination with social media, with our need to be connected, to be wired in at all times. It’s a love story that asks important questions about how we live today and would be an ideal read for fans of Matt Haig. At its centre Briddey and her overbearing family who thrive on connection and want to know EVERYTHING is a wonderfully engaging creation. ~ Simon Spanton


Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants ...Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept ('anything to beat the new apple phone') to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They've been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other's feelings. Trent doesn't just want to tell her how much he loves her - he wants her to feel it. Everything is perfect. The trouble is, Briddey can't breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she's had two minutes to call her family. And they're hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD - which they will - they'll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later. The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and - for Briddey - a chance for love at the heart of it all. This is a brilliant, heart-warming romantic comedy from one of the wittiest and wisest of our authors. Written with a light touch and a smile, we're swept up in Briddey's romance - and into the difficulties of a world just one technological step away from our own, as technology and social media blur (or indeed remove) the line between personal and public.


A lightweight, sci-fi romcom satire for the 21st century, firing broadsides at our dependency on hi-tech gadgetry and social media. GUARDIAN A sci-fi flavoured thriller... A biting satire of 21st century capitalism... But mostly, it's a romance. One of those slushy ones, where you can see the ending coming a mile away, but still find yourself rooting for the couple to look past their superficial differences and just snog already. SFX Clever, delightful, and at all times very entertaining. Well worth a read. SCIFINOW A fun read in which the phenomenon of telepathy is given a convincing scientific gloss. MORNING STAR

About the Author

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis has won, among other accolades, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards for her writing, and was recently named an SFWA Grand Master. She lives in Greeley, Colorado with her husband Courtney Willis, a professor of physics at the University of Northern Colorado.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th September 2016


Connie Willis

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Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


512 pages


Science Fiction
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Science fiction



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