Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh (book review).

Imagine this. You’re a woman killed in an accident and because you’re all natural and pretty, you’re kept on ice…literally…under an insurance condition. Many years later, you are awoken for a few minutes as an opportunity for some rich person to come along, to see if there’s a mutual attraction. If there is, then they’ll pay for you to be repaired and for your newly married permanent life. A unique dating service of the future which can also draw out the pervs as well as the inadequate as Mira, the longest woman in deep freeze and keeping the fact that she’s a lesbian has the odd minute awake wondering if she’ll ever be restored. Interestingly, she isn’t the focus of the story.


Elsewhere in deep freeze is Winter West, ran over accidentally by lute-player Rob Mashita, after he left his own relationship with media whore Lorelei Van Kampen hits the tubes. He’s very guilty about this and low on cash, he first gets help from his dad and then Winter’s ex-boyfriend, Nathan, to pay so he can keep away from being permanently frozen as she can’t keep enough prospective financers interested in resurrecting here. I should also point out that this is a reality of live media where everything you do can be filmed and sold at a profit and the likes of Lorelei make a lot of money from it. Inflation is massively higher than it is today and everything, short of air, has to be paid for. You’re also two moves from being able to contact anyone, providing they let you. Did I say not everyone was happy about the bridesicle arrangements, including employees of the firm, like Lycan Hill, who is their chief scientist?

There’s also Veronika is one of Rob’s newly acquired friends who is a therapist of sorts who also gets paid for supplying smart lines to people like Loreli. She’s also the key to getting the solution for rescuing Winter by suggesting and helping to modify the dead girl’s profile data to attract more people to see her. Mind you, it doesn’t help Rob from falling in love with Winter and finds, when she is resurrected, can’t be reciprocated because she is married to Red Redmond, who also bought her marriage. You would have thought that with how generous her marriage stipend is that Winter didn’t pay Rob back for keeping her company but then she realised who she was really married to as well.

I’m not going to give away too much detail because it is definitely spoiler. The story is character driven which tends to low key the reality itself although I think author Will McIntosh ought to explore it more because this truly looks like the future of Utube where even non-celebrities become celebrities by letting people share their lives over the media. The people are engaging enough for you not to wonder why some of them are on the periphery of this media circus.

This is a very intense page-turner of a book. Written so your perspective is changed throughout so you see life from different characters’ viewpoints so everything is personal. Will McIntosh has brought out a new twist in Science Fiction, the future of dating. ‘Love Minus Eighty’ has award winner written all over it and will certainly spawn some lookalikes, so read this one first. Make sure your rights are sorted out for being frozen under insurance.

GF Willmetts

June 2013

(pub: Orbit/LittleBrown. 402 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-356-50214-4)

check out website: www.orbitbooks.net


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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