I read about Love Minus Eighty on The Offbeat Home & Life blog. When Ariel said it was "It's the perfect combination of intriguing and just fucking creepy", I knew I had to read it. Sadly I had to request from the library twice because life got in the way the first time I had it. I'm glad I relooted it because it was everything I promised.
It seems like there are a lot of characters in Love Minus Eighty but eventually they all connect it and it's like a sci-fi Valentine's Day. McIntosh creates a world where people are so dependent on their computers, they wear them like a second skin. Yet these six people become so tangled into each other's life due to real non-internet life. Rob runs Winter over with his car. Veronika tries to save Lycan. Nathan and Veronika use the same coffee shop for their work but wind up talking and connecting. Even though they all hide behind their computer systems they crave human interaction, love, and companionship. Things they can't get from holograms or blog followers. It was an odd juxtaposition.
So they title-Love Minus Eighty. Women who either purchase freezing insurance or women that the cryo company finds attractive are frozen (minus eighty). They are held in these creches, waiting to meet men who would be interested in reviving them. So it's a dating center. Men come in and revive a woman and have a "date" with her. If a man likes a woman, he can come back and visit again or marry her. In marrying her, she is bound to him for life and he's responsible for the cost of repairing the damage to her. In the end, the woman is sort of like a servant since she can't divorce or leave the man responsible for reviving her. It was a little odd to say the least.
Love Minus Eighty was one of those sci-fi books that I love. The world wasn't too hard to imagine. The characters were marvelously flawed and very engaging. McIntosh definitely made me think. Others who shared their thoughts on Love Minus Eighty: Beth Revis, A Dribble of Ink, The British Fantasy Society, Stainless Steel Droppings, and The Little Red Reviewer.