"Mindplayers" is an intricately envisioned near-future confessional memoir of a "mind criminal's" arrest, rehabilitation and reformation as a "mind player", a socially esteemed, so respectable, professional. In tracing Alexandra Victoria Haas's development from kick seeker to (ambivalent) social control agent, Pat Cadigan creates the most vividly rendered projection yet of the human uses and abuses of psychology and psy-tech.
On the streets Cadigan portrays future heads who do "mind commerce" in mad-caps (head-mounted psychosis inducers), drop outlaw designer generations of finer tuned hallucinogens and load up, trade or customize digital copies of each other's memories or those of admired artists. In the labs she presents the caste of mind players, the psycho-science elite who enter, observe and/or merge minds in order to perfect their skills in dream-feeding, neurosis peddling, tranquilizing (called "belljarring"), reality affixing and spiritually focusing the better educated, affluent populace. In the shops Cadigan shows the masses buying kitsch cloned "franchised" personalities.
Cadigan keeps the politics of all this frenzied activity fascinatingly and frighteningly ambiguous.
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Mindplayers:
For chrissakes, don't use that name! I'm getting more camouflage, what do you think I'm doing? I'm cloning my own memories and passing them out while I clone memories from other people and lay them over my own.
NN felt that mindplay was a necessary tool for the evolving, expanding mind, and that the next evolutionary step would take place in the brain, generated voluntarily by humans themselves.