Mindplayers are tomorrow’s psychoanalysts, linked directly to their patients using sophisticated machinery attached to the optic nerve. In one-to-one Mindplay contact, you can be inside someone else’s head, wandering the landscapes of their consciousness. Allie is a sensation-seeking young woman, obtaining illicit thrills from her shady friend Jerry Wirerammer. But Allie goes badly astray when Jerry supplies her with a “madcap” – a device that lets you temporarily and harmlessly experience psychosis. There’s something wrong with Jerry’s madcap, and the psychosis doesn’t go away when it’s disconnected. Allie ends up undergoing treatment at a “dry-cleaner”, and she is faced with a stark choice – jail, for her illegal use of the madcap; or training to become a Mindplayer herself. During training Allie becomes familiar with the Pool – a cohesive, though shifting mental landscape jointly constructed by a number of minds; and more disturbingly encounters McFlor, who has been mind-wiped, so that his adult body is inhabited by a mind only two hours old. And as a fully-fledged Mindplayer Allie has to choose between the many specialist options open to her – Reality Affixing or Pathosfinding; Thrillseeking or Dreamfeeding.
From the SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal sample introduction to the compelling work of Pat Cadigan, two-times winner of the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD. Pat Cadigan has been dubbed ‘the Queen of Cyberpunk’ but her novels defy such narrow categorisation. In addition to winning two ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARDs and a WORLD FANTASY AWARD, she has been nominated for the HUGO, NEBULA and PHILIP K. DICK AWARDs and garnered praise from such genre heavyweights as Neil Gaiman, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Few writers are as adept at facing the onrushing near-future as Pat Cadigan, and this volume perfectly showcases that skill, featuring TEA FROM AN EMPTY CUP, PHILIP K. DICK AWARD-finalist MINDPLAYERS and the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD-winning FOOLS.