When I first read Nicola Griffith’s “It Takes Two,” in Eclipse Three, it didn’t make much of an impression on me. All I could remember was how quickly my interest faded in reading about high-tech workers bemoaning their fate post-dot-com bust. Even now that I’ve re-read the whole thing recently, I’m still not all that interested.
Cody works for a small tech start-up. Richard is a friend she sees only on business trips, and while there is no romantic interest, he makes those trips bearable. She is about to go on a trip to Atlanta, but he won’t be there. He quit to take an academic research job.
Then Cody embarks on her journey alone. Weird, disturbing, and wonderful things happen to her. Suddenly, as we near the end, Cody finally learns what was really going on, and the reader learns speculative meaning of it. It’s really about how our experiences are mediated by our biological programming and asks if that programming can be hacked, is the experience still real. Certainly an interesting question, but it took too long to get to the point for me to remember it was even being asked.