Mindplayers

mindplayersMindplayers by Pat Cadigan
Published 1988 by Gollancz

In a world where virtual reality is inside everyone’s head and you can choose to be someone else if you tire of your own personality, somethings are still illegal. Like being crazy without a license. Seeking altered states of consciousness and living an impulsive, directionless life, Allie Haas tries a black market trip into paranoia. It leaves her unconscious and dying and her dealer drops her off at a mental drycleaner, leading to both of them being arrested.

Allie is offered a deal: train as a mindplayer to facilitate the work and games of others, or be imprisoned. She takes the deal.

Mindplayers is a fascinating exploration of our inner mental worlds and how we use narrative to create ourselves and our lives. Allie finds intimacy with others in the mental realm, discovers what happens when someone has their personality stolen and helps other discover meaning in their creative work. It’s like meditation and psychology combined, enhanced and lifted to another level. What might be possible if we could have such insight into ourselves?

I really enjoyed this. It combines great storytelling with serious exploration of science and technology and its impact on humans. Science fiction at its best.

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