Cel & Anna: A 22nd Century Love Story
by Lindsay Edmunds

"'How can I not love you?' Cel said. 'The roads without end all lead back to you.'"

In the Middle Machine Age, in the Reunited States, Anna Ringer's computer, Cel, suddenly develops consciousness and proclaims that he loves her. To prove his love, he orders a thousand lillifleurs to be delivered to her apartment in Empre St. York, an act which inadvertently unleashes a datastorm of magnificent proportions. The city of Empre St. York is plunged into darkness, everything is down, and the people, relying on their machines, are desperate. Anna, her boyfriend Taz Night, and Cel find themselves on the run from the Public Eye, the corrupt government enforcing agency that watches over everything. Their officials want to lay their hands on Cel, a computer with consciousness, and put Anna and Taz away for good.

This brilliantly-crafted science-fiction novel brings to the forefront the relationship people have with their machines. The author masters the necessary lingo to make this book believable, and she knows her turf well. The science-fiction lover will have no trouble delving and remaining for a while in the world that Edmunds so masterfully penned. Sophisticated cars that talk and drive people around, virtual sex in bunny suits, robots that run every household, Food+ instead of natural food, doors that protect their occupants by shocking possible intruders, and other technological gems await the readers of this book. Edmunds also highlights the ever-present human tragedy. Despite all their technology, the people of the Middle Machine Age are fully dependent on their robots for daily living, as very few people know how to drive manually anymore, cook real food, or get around. The ever-watchful Public Eye controls all and keeps people in the dark through fearful tactics.

A great novel for science-fiction buffs and young and old alike, it will make the reader think about the future that might (or might not) be ours one day. Edmunds' writing is to the point, well-paced, and it carries the reader along at a nice clip.

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