The Love Makers arrives!

It’s Christmas Eve, and Scarlett, banker-turned-technologist, is leaving a secret underground lab to catch the last flight that will get her home in time to open presents with her three-year-old son. She offers a lift to a young woman in distress, who shares her intimate life story as they drive to the airport. These revelations will have devastating consequences for both of them…. The Love Makers is a philosophical thriller about female friendship, class, motherhood, women, and work —and how artificial intelligence and robotics are transforming the future of love and desire.

"Wild, innovative and alive with intelligence and imagination, Aifric Campbell's novel is a dark Thelma and Louise road-trip for the AI generation." Arifa Akbar, Guardian, author of Consumed

The Love Makers combines Aifric’s novel with essays from leading scientists and commentators Ronny Bogani, Joanna J. Bryson, Julie Carpenter, Stephen Cave, Anita Chandran, Peter R. N. Childs, Kate Devlin, Kanta Dihal, Mary Flanagan, Amanda Sharkey, Roberto Trotta, E. R. Truitt, Richard Watson who examine what’s at stake in our human–machine relationships. What is our future as friends, parents, lovers? Will advances in intelligent machines reverse decades of progress for women? From robot nannies to generative art and our ancient dreams of intelligent machines, The Love Makers blends storytelling with science communication to investigate the challenges and opportunities of emergent technologies and how we want to live.

The Future of Human Love in the Age of AI: live event at the Royal Institution for Science June 29 2022

How are artificial intelligence and robotics transforming the future of love and desire?Join Aifric CampbellKanta DihalJoanna Bryson and chair Philip Ball to explore what’s at stake in our human machine relationships.

“Unique novel of big ideas considers advances in technology and where they might take us.” Sarah Gilmartin Irish Times

"Imagine a Black Mirror take on Thelma and Louise, then throw in a vibrant debate on ethics and plenty of philosophising about the future of humankind." 

“Two women from very different backgrounds take an eerie road trip together in Aifric Campbell’s intriguing new novel, The Love Makers. Scarlett, the driver of the gold Buick, is a former banker turned tech investor who is trying to get home to her family for Christmas. Along the way she offers a lift to a mildly aggressive, vulnerable young woman, Gurl, whose meathead boyfriend, Blane, has left her stranded somewhere deep in the American wilderness.  … The Love Makers is set in an uncanny near-future, where the integration of artificial intelligence in everyday life has progressed significantly.”

"If Campbell’s ambition in writing The Love Makers is to get readers thinking about what AI will mean for society, present and future, she has certainly achieved her aim."

GUARDIAN: “It deserves attention”

The Love Makers: “Campbell’s fourth novel is a suspenseful, plausible near-future road trip that is published alongside 14 essays by experts in fields ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to law and ethics. In the fiction Scarlett and Gurlthe titular characters are a wealthy tech entrepreneur on her way home for Christmas and the stranded dancer to whom she gives a lift. Scarlett, involved in the development of new uses for AI, resists its inclusion in her own life, insisting on hiring a succession of human nannies instead of the iMom her peers rely on. Gurl shares her boyfriend with a sex robot she looks upon as her best friend. These types of future tech may not be so far away; AI and robotics are already part of our lives. The essay by Kate Devlin begins “The first thing to know about sex robots is that there are no sex robots,” but it goes on to consider the role of the virtual assistant, and reveals that a Japanese company which makes “a voice-driven AI with an associated projected holographic anime character” has thousands of male customers who would like to marry their virtual assistants. This book, created with the aim of raising awareness of potential social impacts of developing trends in technology, provides much to think about. It deserves attention.” – Lisa Tuttle, Nov 2021

E&T magazine review “.. explores human-machine relationships with empathy, fully fleshed-out characters and genuinely original ideas.” Hilary Lamb

"Keenly intelligent and deeply humane, The Love Makers is an essential handbook on the ways in which artificial intelligence has already changed the relationships between human beings, and will only continue to do so." - Louisa Hall, author Trinity and Speak

Chicago Review of Books “The novel, as well as the twelve short contributor essays that follow it, are presented as an exploration of gender, attachment, and the transformations of technology. These cross-disciplinary essays are thought-provoking considerations of human-machine interaction: its potentials, its limitations, and its pitfalls. Some commentaries are provocative, such as Kate Devlin’s “while (alive) {love me;},” while others, such as Margaret Rhee’s poem….” – Shinjini

Huge congrats Joanna Bryson & Ronny Bogani on The Love Makers excerpt published in WIRED

“Robot nannies will not be irritable; they will not lose their temper. They will only very seldomly (and catastrophically) forget or ignore, and they are available 24/7. Robots may therefore increase the probability that children develop bonding issues with their parents and friends. Some children will prefer the more reliable style of interactions they find with machines—just as some prefer simpler interactions with animals or the high-bandwidth, low-risk stimulation of books….”

Congrats to E.R.Truitt, whose wonderful essay excerpt from THE LOVE MAKERS is published in MIT Press Reader

“Robots and AI in fact and in fiction serve the interests of powerful elites, often by violently policing boundaries (of places and social groups) and surveilling subject populations. They act as liminal objects, and are often used in imaginative texts to think about and interrogate boundaries between natural and artificial, between living and not. Intelligent machines raise issues of autonomy and consent….posing philosophical questions about the ethics of making and what we owe to what we create.” – E.R. Truitt

Aifric’s Valentines evening as panel speaker, Imperial LATES

Crash, Crisis, Crypto: My story published on the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis: my story on Lehman Brothers collapse.

“It’s September 15 2008 and you carry your heart in a cardboard box across the concourse with the world’s TV cameras in your face.” Click to READ

Thanks to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for my residency at the Dora Maar House

MONEY TALK, my short story for Almeida theatre London 2018

A mother teachers her 9-year-old son to play poker. Now he’s the king of sovereign distress …MONEY TALK was commissioned by the Almeida theatre, London for LIES, an interactive production on economics and high finance.

My short story KAROLINA in Bridport prize anthology 2018!

Fiction on finance: I review of A Game of Consequences, Irish Times 2018

“Ten years after the financial crisis we are reminded yet again of the toxic culture of cowardice, cronyism and greed that brought Ireland to its knees and the players who, for the most part, went unpunished.”

Aifric speaks at University College London May 2018

Symposium: Women’s Writing and Science.  Joint address on creative writing and identity, with Anita Chandran, alumna from my Creative Writing class at Imperial College who is combining a PhD in experimental physics with a creative anthology about women in science.

Are we raising girls to fear competition? 

Competition remains one of the most controversial areas in the discussion about women and work –

Extract from a forthcoming business book by Aifric Campbell & Tara Ricks, Irish Times, 2018

“The car park at my son’s school is full when arrive, so I know the triathlon is under way. A few girls come streaking out of the pool house in wet togs – they’ve already cycled three times round a large field and swum 10 lengths and now they’re heading off for a cross-country mile. By the time I take up position at the finish line, a 12-year-old girl – let’s call her Ellie – is powering ahead when she suddenly slows down…” READ MORE

On the Floor, longlisted Orange Prize (Women’s Prize) 

Picador USA

What the critics are saying: ..the smartest financial novel since The Bonfire of the Vanities, and the first with a fully drawn female heroine – Frank Partnoy /.. brilliantly combine[s] the best elements of the modern financial thriller and the nineteenth-century coming-of-age story to create a commanding work of fiction—Stephen Amidon / It’s that rare work of fiction in which the financial world functions as more than a mere backdrop – Bloomberg / Campbell, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, punctures the seamy darkness of banking with acute observations- Publishers Weekly / Of all the contemporary heroines, Geri Molloy might be the most badass. Watch out, Lisbeth Salander. —Marie Claire. 

Aifric in Dublin for TG4 with Tristan Rosenstock

I grew up in Dublin and moved to Sweden where I read Linguistics and lectured in semantics at the University of Gothenburg. After 14 years in investment banking I decided to focus on the fiction I’d been writing since childhood. My awards include a fellowship at UCLA, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and residences incl Yaddo in New York. I’ve written for The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, The Irish Times, ELLE, Tatler, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Business Post. I hold a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. For the past 11 years I’ve taught creative writing to STEMM students at Imperial College London and am author in residence at the Centre for Performance Science.

My first novel, The Semantics of Murder (2008), was inspired by an unsolved murder of a brilliant mathematician in LA. The Loss Adjustor (2010) tells the story of a woman who is haunted by the loss of her childhood friends. My 2rd novel On the Floor (2012) was inspired by my career in finance – I spent 14 years at Morgan Stanley where I became the first woman managing director on the London trading floor. My short fiction incl New Irish Short Stories (2011), The Book of Men. I was commissioned as scriptwriter for FILM: C.K.(2012), inspired by the real life case of an Amsterdam accountant who embezzled 16mill euros and disappeared.

The Novelist in the Fly LabAifric presents at Imperial College London 2017

Aifric reviews in the Wall Street Journal: The One Percent “On April 3, global news outlets simultaneously released 11.5 million confidential documents from a Panama law firm that exposed how the rich and powerful conceal wealth and evade taxes….”READ MORE

Aifric addresses Brexit summit 2016 

Irish writers: where we set our novels + My take on Trump, Irish Times” “0335  Dublin, the witching hour. I’m singing Woody Guthrie as a defence against demons. This land is your land /This land is my land / From California to the New York Island……..  0445 I make a list of the American writers and poets who have sustained my entire life…..”.READ MORE

My take on Brexit : Irish Times 2016 “The real crisis in the UK is the widening gap between rich and poor, between opportunity and despair.”

Aifric reviews VERSAILLES Irish Times 2016

Why bankers need book clubs:LossAdj paperback thumbnail my OpEd Irish Times 2016  

The truth is that novelists were picking up on troubling long-term trends in the financial sector long before the strategists.”

Scientists outshine arts students with experiments in creative writing: my OPED in the Guardian 2014

With no publication angst and a killer work ethic, science students easily match their peers in the humanities in the art of creative writing. It even makes them better scientists, writes novelist and teacher Aifric Campbell… 
The Global Novel: Aifric with John Banville & Neel Mukherjee 

Writing is an act of confidence” Aifric in Grierik

“I came to Brussels to start my fourth novel. In fact I came to write it – to “get black on white”. I am always dishing out Hemingway’s blunt advice to my students because it’s true: without text there is nothing, there is just the idea in your head.…” DOWNLOAD pdf 

How to Make an Impact: Aifric’s guide on how to do business  

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, senior female executives are failing “to assert themselves in high-level meetings”. So why do many women founder?  A failure to prepare and practice, says investment banker-turned-writer Aifric Campbell Download pdf 

“An appetite for risk is key to success” – Aifric addresses the Global Economics Forum 2013 

Aifric’s novel ON THE FLOOR longlisted for the Orange Prize 2012

“Campbell delivers a Back to the Future tour of a workplace long before Sheryl Sandberg was telling women how to lean in at the office.” Washington Post

Aifric’s story ARSENAL published in The Irish Times 2014Illustration by Brendon Deasy

Dalkey Book Festival 10 global trends that will change your life


How do you tell stories about financial markets? Aifric addresses London School of Economics 2013

TV Interview with Wim Brands, leading Dutch arts prog boeken-13-05-2012

Aifric on BBC R4 TODAY:  Does finance make good fiction?

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