A Novel

    • 4.1 • 51 Ratings
    • $14.99
    • $14.99

Publisher Description

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 desired.


In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal—to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don’t quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely—in a way far beyond what she signed up for.

It is almost more than she can handle—especially when the stress of managing her all-too-eager-to-communicate-at-all-times family is already burdening her brain. But that’s only the beginning. As things go from bad to worse, she begins to see the dark side of too much information, and to realize that love—and communication—are far more complicated than she ever imagined.

Praise for Crosstalk

“A rollicking send-up of obsessive cell phone usage in too-near-future America . . . [Connie] Willis’s canny incorporation of scientific lore, and a riotous cast . . . make for an engaging girl-finally-finds-right-boy story that’s unveiled with tact and humor. Willis juxtaposes glimpses of claimed historical telepaths with important reflections about the ubiquity of cell phones and the menace that unscrupulous developers of technology pose to privacy, morality, and emotional stability.”—Publishers Weekly 

“An exhilarating and laugh-inducing read . . . one of those rare books that will keep you up all night long because you can’t bear to put it down.”—Portland Book Review

“A fun technological fairy tale.”BookPage

“One of the funniest SF novels in years.”Locus

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
October 4
Random House Worlds
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

jwPhoto64 ,

Wait, what did you just say?

I started this book when it was first published (2016 or so) but didn’t finish. I admit to being a Connie Willis fan, so I started it again. And this time, I couldn’t put it down. For the reason the story didn’t capture me before was exactly the reason I had to keep reading. It seemed like romance was what this book was about, but I am glad I kept reading. Granted, there is “romance”, but not the kind you would expect. (This is Connie Willis, after all.) Maybe a more gifted reviewer would write this review so that the plot isn’t handed to you on a smart phone text message, but even that is saying too much. Every character in this story is unique and has her or his own story to tell. Some are more shadowy than others, but don’t worry, that will change. The story ends ALMOST as it began, but with enough twists along the way to keep you engaged. The only thing I found somewhat disappointing was how difficult it seemed to me to follow the concluding logic that tied everything together. Although it was a satisfying conclusion in nearly every respect I found myself wondering into the silence “Did you hear someone say something just now?”

shurrrrp ,

First book review

This is my first book review and I wasn’t sure I would ever be the type of person to “yelp” and book, good or bad.
However this book hit me, and it hit me in a good way. The first third of the book is a wild ride for someone who deals with anxiety. Then the book does a great way of using telepathy as a metaphor for anxiety and it all makes sense.
Such a fun read and leaves you off feeling a strong connection to the characters and wanting more.
Definitely recommend if your looking for something to pick you up from the weight of modern society.

Siebengel ,

A wonderful story.

As is usual for Connie Willis, this is a beautiful, thrilling, romantic, quirky, story. Apparently in the future, a simple outpatien procedure can implant a device so you can connect emotionally with your beloved partner. Only in Briddey’s case, it turns her into a telepath. Worse, a telepath who is linked to the man the whold office nicknames “the Hunchback of Notre Dame”.
Read the story, and enjoy this brilliant, brilliant, little tome.

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