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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  10,426 ratings  ·  2,201 reviews
Science fiction icon Connie Willis brilliantly mixes a speculative plot, the wit of Nora Ephron, and the comedic flair of P. G. Wodehouse in Crosstalk—a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever d ...more
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Del Rey (first published September 20th 2016)
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John Armstrong Well, have you ever encountered any of either in a Willis book? I mean, except for her outright porn titles ....
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  10,426 ratings  ·  2,201 reviews

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Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-releases, sci-fi
2ish stars.

This is ridiculous. Well obviously because it's farce, but if you ask me, it's more of an irritating, eye-roll ridiculous than a humorous one. In this book, Willis has the subtlety of a hand grenade and the nuance of a stick figure. It's a fast-paced romantic sci-fi comedy about telepathic gingers except it's hard to tell when the comedy is intended and the romance is creepy. (view spoiler)
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf, humor
You know, I was worried that my being a total fanboy of Connie Willis would have unduly influenced any kind of review I might make for any new novel, but I never should have worried. At all. This is a Great SF Romantic Comedy, with all the best features of To Say Nothing of the Dog, at least with the comedy of errors, the speed and flurry, and the comedy, even if we're not in the realm of time-travel any more.

This one is all about communication, and if you really think that you've got it all fi
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

In Crosstalk, Connie Willis’ near-future science fiction novel, the main character Briddey works for Commspan, a smartphone company that is anxious to compete with Apple. For the last six weeks Briddey has been in a whirlwind romance with Trent, a hot young executive at Commspan, who swept Briddey off her feet with his suave charm and his Porsche. Now Trent has invited Briddey, as a prelude to getting engaged, to get a popular “minor” neurological brain
The blurb of this book was a bit wishy-washy, but it's Connie Willis, so I expected some kind of interesting comment on current communication and the ridiculousness of the EED. Instead I got a story exploring the pros and cons of telepathy, something I figured out myself as a small child, with added creepy romance. I'm pretty disappointed.

The book opens with a lot of promise. Briddey (how does one pronounce that?) is some kind of executive (Maybe. We never really find out what she does) at one o
Briddey Flannigan knows she's lucky to have a boyfriend like Trent Worth. He sends her flowers, takes her to the hottest restaurants, and texts her first thing every morning. Far from being allergic to commitment, Trent has already said the big ILY, and now he's proposing they have an EED to become even closer. It all has the rumor mill at their workplace churning with barely concealed envy. Who wouldn't want their boyfriend or girlfriend to suggest something so romantic? And after only six week ...more
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I’ve been staring at this bloody shrimping screen for the past 162.5 hours (give or take 2356 minutes or 2), and still have no fishing idea what to say about this book. Looks like I just can’t beat the abominable A Connie Willis Book Never Shall You Be Able to Review in the Entirety of Your Entire Life and Beyond Curse (ACWBNSYBAtRitEoYELaBC™). Our Lord Shrimp knows I tried to find nefariously creative ways to thwart it, but nothing seems to work. Not even sacrificing puny human babies, if you c ...more
Althea Ann
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like experiencing a prolonged anxiety attack. But wait! That's not a bad thing! It's like having a funny, clever and romantic anxiety attack!

Connie Willis' books tend to either feature a comedy of manners set against a dark and dire background... or a comedy of manners in a somewhat less catastrophic situation. This is one in the less-dire and more light-hearted category. But Willis' humor always has her own distinct flavor; it's unmistakable - and I love it.

Here, she riffs
Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

I need to be upfront: Connie Willis is my all-time favourite author and I love her. Her books are perfect.

I waited an agonizing six (SIX!!) whole years to get my hands on this book and it was worth it. I would wait another six years to get this sort of amazingness again (well, I’m incredibly impatient person so while I would wait, I wouldn’t do it quietly).

Crosstalk was one of her lighter and hilarious books. It wasn’t gutwrenching lik
B Schrodinger
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Remember when Apple launched their watch (the year before last?) and there was that creepy app where you could transmit your heartbeat to another wearer or just even tap out morse code for "I am following you with a knife"?

Well, it freaked Connie out a little too. And her wonderful mind took this on and pushed this creepy technology to its limit.

Trent and Briddey have had a whirlwind office romance over the last month, and Trent has popped the question. No, not engagement, but to get an EED. It
I have a bunch of jumbled thoughts about this book, and mulling didn't help, so I'll just list the jumble bits and be done with it:

-I found Briddey's family simply hideous. No concept of privacy, no respect for boundaries, constantly talking over one another and refusing to listen to one another. Hideous.
-Liked Maeve, though I thought she was waaaaaaaaay too precocious and super brilliant for a nine-year old.
-I often wanted to smack Briddey -- she was a total doormat with her family, couldn't p
Stevie Kincade
(Audiobook) I couldn't finish this one. I gave it over 6 hours (35%) to convince me it was worth continuing. Narrator Mia Barron was quite good so this is one of the few I abandoned purely because of how much I hated the characters and story.

This was a comedic farce without the comedy. It was an Abbott & Costello "Who's on first" routine, with smartphones and no punchline(s).

Briddie was supposedly an exec for a smartphone company but she was spectacularly stupid. She makes important decisions f
This is a fun mix of science fiction and romance. The story is set in the present day, with some genuine cultural references, but the difference is that in Connie Willis' world there is a device that can be implanted in your body that allows you to feel your partner's emotions.

It seems Connie was inspired by all of the health and activity trackers that are available these days, and wondered what would happen if those trackers could also sense emotions. But when our heroine, Briddey, gets the dev
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read nearly every book Connie Willis has written and enjoyed each and every one of them. And I enjoyed this one too although it lost a star for a few things that irritated.
Firstly the MC. I loved many of the characters, especially CB and Maeve, but Briddie came close to driving me crazy. She was either being a doormat for her nonsensical family or she was being deliberately obtuse about the obvious.
Secondly Willis always has a tendency to go into great detail and she can take a whole ch
If you decide to read this book, you will need to pour yourself a giant glass of something alcoholic or take a Xanax first or you might just find yourself having major anxiety while reading it. The very best word I can use to describe this book is HECTIC. I can't think of any other time where I would have used that as my one-word description either. But, sheesh! It was like being thrown into a room full of squirrels and being told to corral them into a box while at the same time holding a baby a ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That's a 'how-much I enjoyed it' rating, rather than an 'objectively it's just that good' one. Because, really - it's Bellwether updated, and with actual spec-fic stuff (vs the lightest suggestion there might be a hint of fantasy amidst all the satire), with an abundance of the mobile phones everyone always complains about Willis' characters not having, and a ton more family.

I got off to a worried start, because one the first page there was Briddey (Bridey is the common nickname for Bridget/Bri
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, sf, humour
I found the opening chapter of Crosstalk totally suffocating. Here was this telecomm middle manager, Briddey Flannigan being inundated first by her colleagues wanting to know details of her dinner out with the boss and then by her family who constantly phone and email about trivial personal problems, even turning up at work or waiting for her in her apartment to the point where it was over the top farce. Somehow this seemingly intelligent grown up woman (who admittedly does seem a bit empty head ...more
Jamie Collins
I’m a big fan of Connie Willis’s work, but I wasn't crazy about this one. Sure it’s well written, but the plot is nonsense. It’s a romantic comedy, but it’s not particularly romantic or funny. Also, while I don’t mind telepathy in my fantasy fiction, if a book is going to offer a pseudo-scientific explanation for it, then that explanation needs to be better than the one offered here.

It is amusing that Willis finally allows her characters to have cell phones (not to mention telepathy) and yet the
Sherwood Smith
Connie Willis seems to have two modes: dark, powerful novels, and lighter ones that verge on romantic comedy, though skirting serious subjects. Such as the duo Blackout and All Clear, which I enjoyed for the most part—but felt would have been immensely better at half the length.

That is because I am not fond of stories in which everyone runs around madly trying to find one another, and just missing, while interrupted by impedimenta that just leads the protagonist further and further astray, so a
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trope, sff, romance
I really liked the middle (roughly) one-third of this book. The rest was incredibly annoying. So I'm going to review this in third parts.

First third: Briddey is just a girl who can't say no, can't set any boundaries (tip: don't give keys to people you can't trust not to break into your apartment), and can't finish a sentence. For the entire first third, that's all that's happening: people are telling her what to do, she's trying to get out of it without every saying "No" or "I don't want to," an
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Connie Willis's novels come in two flavors: Incredibly Serious and You'll Love it Even As It Traumatizes You, and Madcap Science Fiction Screwball Comedy. I cannot get over how she can go back and forth between them so well! Since her last big project was the Best. WWII. Book. Ever. (Blackout/All Clear, come for the time travel, stay for the heartbreak!) Crosstalk is of the Madcap Screwball Comedy flavor, obviously.

And it's wonderful!

It reminded me so much of my beloved Bellwether, but here we'v
This Subterranean Press hardcover edition is marked PC of 500 copies produced and is signed by Connie Willis.
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I love Connie Willis’s work. I devour everything she writes, and I’m utterly incapable of judging her books impartially. She once granted me at 90-minute interview, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it changed my life. Which is why it’s surprising that I did not care for her new book, Crosstalk, a romantic comedy that other reviewers are praising to the skies. I found this book to have a great concept but tedious pacing and sloppy characterization
Crosstalk was my first experience with Connie Willis, whom I've been meaning to read for quite some time now. I'll admit that I was slightly hesitant at first. I didn't want to judge this one by its cover, but it seems slightly hokey, and gave me pause. However, I need not have feared, as the story is much better than the cover might indicate.

Against the wishes of her somewhat meddlesome but well-meaning family, Briddey Flannigan gets an EED to open up new avenues of communicating with her boyfr
Jacob Proffitt
I really struggled with this book, pretty much from the start. This is largely down to Briddey and her personality. It really bothers me when people let themselves be walked all over by everybody and Briddey is that kind of person. It's one thing when it's loved-ones or there's at least some semblance of reciprocity (still annoying, but not as bad), but with Briddey, it's everybody; colleagues, boyfriend, her own assistant, and her family is just awful.

I found that almost as annoying as the plet
Maria V. Snyder
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Connie Willis - she's a talented and humorous writer and I've seen her at conventions and she's super sweet and funny. My favorite of her books is the Doomsday Book which is a time traveling SF. This book is fun as well - she makes a statement about being too connected and having too much communication. The SF element is telepathy and she does a nice job of showing "telepathy is a terrible idea."

The story is funny and fast paced and there's a bit of romance. Sometimes it was too much - Br
Briddy's boyfriend, Trent is begging her to get an EED, a neurological device embedded in the brain, so they can have a deeper emotional connection. Her loud, boundary-free Irish family – who keep barging in on her at work ... And at home. And in her car. And pretty much everywhere else too – are dead-set against it. As is C.B. Schwartz, an antisocial genius who works in the basement of the cell phone company Briddy and Trent both also work for. Briddy is determined to make her own choice for
Rachel (Kalanadi)

I received this book as an ARC for free from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

As I've seen said elsewhere, Crosstalk is a novel about the pros and cons of telepathy. It's also a frantic sci fi romantic comedy.

I hate to compare an author's newest novel overwhelmingly to prior works, but having read quite a few novels and stories by Willis in just the past 2 years, I was reminded... a lot... of other stories. The maddening corporate culture and miscommunication was reminiscent of Bellwether.

Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really ended up enjoying this, but it was touch and go there for a bit. Connie Willis's writing always has this distinct, relentless tone to it, and it gets under your skin until you see where it's going. I've had that same experience with all the books I've read by her, although the tone takes a different specific tenor every time. In Doomsday Book it was the tedium of death. In To Say Nothing of the Dog it was the farcical nature of time travel. And here it's a relentless onslaught o ...more
Crosstalk: Unintended Consequences

Grand Master Connie Willis' latest novel is a light frothy read of a novel focusing on the search for the ultimate in communication. Couples can deepen their ability to connect more closely than ever by a simple medical procedure to feel their partner's very emotions. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? But it's a Pandora's box, opening the unintended consequences of mental telepathy. It's a shortcut to chaos, leading recipients to hear the unfettered thoughts of thou
Honestly, I have no idea how to rate this book. I had a wonderful time reading it and this may very well be the most FUN I've had reading a book lately, but it also doesn't hold together very well in a lot of ways. Getting the characters into amusing situations seemed to come before logic and characterization and the characters are one note... And yet, I could hardly put it down even though I had a lot of issues with it!

The part of me that loved how entertaining it was wants to give it 4-4.5 sta
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Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.

She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Ficti

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“Then why does every sentence beginning ‘We need to talk’ end in disaster? Our whole evolutionary history has been about trying to stop information from getting communicated—camouflage, protective coloration, that ink that squids squirt, encrypted passwords, corporate secrets, lying. Especially lying. If people really wanted to communicate, they’d tell the truth, but they don’t.” 5 likes
“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.” —Monty Python’s Flying Circus” 4 likes
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