The centrepiece of Brooke-Rose's Intercom Quartet, Xorandor and Verbivore explore the shifting language of technologies and their catastrophic potential. In Xorandor we meet Jip and Zab, two precocious teens who chance upon a stone claiming to have fallen from Mars, whose skill for absorbing language from multiple frequencies leads him to Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth with potentially apocalyptic consequences. Verbivore meets Jip and Zab again as adults, taking on a new crisis: the world's mega-computers, facing an overflow of information, rebel by eating up words and causing havoc among corporations, institutions, and governments. Both novels are rich in Brooke-Rose's characteristic wordplay, flair for the multilingual pun, and use science-fiction tropes in a stimulating and witty manner, making these two of the most engaging and vital novels of her career and a perfect entry point for the new reader. This reprint edition includes an introduction by Nicolas Tredell, consultant editor for Palgrave MacMillan's Readers' Guides.