Read Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan Online


For Allie, putting on the madcap that Jerry borrowed was a very big mistake. The psychosis itself was quite conventional, but it didn't go away when she took the madcap off, so the Brain Police took over leaving her with a choice - go to jail as a mind criminal or become a mindplayer. ...

Title : Mindplayers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780575044883
Format Type : PDF
Number of Pages : 276 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mindplayers Reviews

  • Sara
    2019-03-25 04:16

    Ok, I'll start by saying that it's not the best book in the world or anything. But I love it. Taking place in a slightly futuristic Earth where people have learned to control and manipulate their minds for fun and profit (mostly for fun), the main character is a Mind Player, sort of like a psychiatrist who actually walks though your mind with you to resolve whatever your issue is. In the meantime, she's got her own problems.This book always makes me think about Self, the big questions: what is Self? Is reaching out the same as reaching in, and does either one make any difference? What about one's appearance - how far will a person go to control their appearance (tattoos, piercings, super conservative dress, etc), and can one really change who they are inside by changing who they look like on the outside? What about questions of collective consciousness?I know, I speak awfully passionately about a book that's only 275 pages long, and I know that not everyone loves it as much as I do. On the other hand, it's a quick, diverting read so why not give it a try? As Evie said in The Mummy, "No harm ever came from reading a book."

  • T4ncr3d1
    2019-04-02 05:07

    "Come fa una mente a non sapere di esser morta?""Come fa la sua a sapere di esser viva? In realtà, è la stessa domanda."Quella di Pat Cadigan è una voce rara e preziosa, l'unica voce femminile in un genere duro come la fantascienza cyberpunk. Sulla scia del più celebre Neuromante, di qualche anno antecedente, Mindplayers riesce a valicare i confini della narrativa di genere, smascherando definitivamente il cyberpunk come vero e proprio movimento d'avanguardia, fosse solo, in questo caso, per l'anticipatoria visionarietà di questo romanzo.E se fosse possibile entrare nella mente di una persona, organizzarla, attaccarla, metterla alla rinfusa, hackerarla, copiarla ed alterarla, esattamente come se fosse un file? Cosa resterebbe allora dell'identità, dell'autocoscienza? Questo l'interrogativo fondamentale del romanzo, che piuttosto che rispondere preferisce porre domande, domande anticipatorie che tutt'ora sono lungi dal trovare una risposta. In un mondo dalle coscienze volubili come la moda, in cui è possibile modificare, copiare, vendere la propria identità a piacere, non è solo l'individualità a finire destrutturata, ma la stessa realtà. E' soprattutto questo il conflitto che vive la protagonista, il conflitto tra quella che chiama "vita lucida", la vita quotidiana, materiale, fisica, e la più complessa "vita mentale". Ma come muoversi in una realtà mentale, quando viene a mancare proprio l'unico punto di riferimento, ovvero l'autocoscienza?

  • Beth
    2019-03-23 04:16

    Alexandra Haas (henceforth known as Allie) has gotten in trouble with the law for the first time. Her buddy Jerry Wirerammer hooked her up with an illegal "madcap" and the thing didn't have a proper shutdown mode, so she was stuck in a psychosis and Jerry had to take her to the dry cleaners' to have it removed from her brain. The Brain Police's sentencing requires her to pay off her public debt by going to J. Walter Tech for training in mindplay, and then taking on a job as a mindplayer until she's paid the debt off. Before her arrest, Allie preferred solitary means of attaining alternate states of consciousness*, even so far as never having mindplayed. In the end, she becomes a pathosfinder, helping her clients overcome blocks to their creativity.*the Alerted Snakes of Consequence don't show up until later.Mindplay's central idea is manipulation of the chemical processes in the brain. Two (or more) people's brains are connected in a shared hallucination via wires connected directly to the optic nerve of each person, with a machine or computer as an intermediary. Your memories can be copied or erased, you can gain a fetish or neurosis, you can work your way through grief or trauma, any number of things. These activities are heavily regulated, perfectly reasonable when dealing with a tech where one's entire consciousness can be copied or taken from their own brain and sold to the highest bidder. Mindrape and mindsuck are things to be feared.Allie goes about her various pathosfinding assignments in an episodic format, each assignment illuminating both the workings of mindplay and moving her own personal arc forward. While I'd like to describe some of the people she comes across in her assignments, I feel that it would spoil a lot of the better parts of this story to talk about them in too much detail. Allie's initial reluctance to mindplay; her meeting the mindsuck victim McFloy during her training tenure at J. Walter and learning the "eye trick"; her ongoing (and not terribly healthy) friendship with Jerry Wirerammer, and her on-again off-again affair with Jascha; her "Deadpan Allie" handle at her job with Nelson Nelson Industries; all of these carry forward throughout the book and build on each other and with her work assignments. I thought it was masterfully done.Allie is described as leading a mental life early on, and along with being told in first person, a good portion of the story takes place in the confines of her head in a literal way. In keeping with her "Deadpan Allie" work alias, Allie has a dry sense of humor which I enjoyed a lot. There's a pun or two to groan at, as well. Someone who's looking for space operatic large scale conflict in their SF isn't likely to find a congenial fit here. It suited me perfectly, though. Allie's major setback is personal in nature, and its resolution has everything to do with self-realization and nothing to do with physical conflict. The climax was moving and reminded me a lot of the last sequence of the anime (view spoiler)[Neon Genesis Evangelion (hide spoiler)], down to (view spoiler)[the supporting cast cheering on the main character as they finally come close to figuring out what's holding them back as a person, and the very nature of that setback was similar, too (hide spoiler)]. Mindplayers came out a few years earlier, and I think the spoilered part was handled better, so it wins. The more conceptual arc--the snakes and the message in the sand--wasn't quite as easily parsed and therefore not as involving, for me. I had to read through its conclusion a number of times and I still don't think I really got it. Maybe next time.Mindplayers was published nearly 30 years ago, and there are ways in which it shows, but that's a lot of the charm of reading older SF. While not expressed in these terms, things very similar to the Internet and debit cards exist in Allie's world, and if the street holograms and the fashion being very glam have a late '80s vibe to them, that vibe only adds to the fun. Too bad we never got the flying party buses and aircabs. And we haven't gotten anywhere close to understanding the human mind well enough to be able to manipulate it in the fine-tuned and permanent way seen here. That's just as well if there were even the slightest chance of greedy corporate interests having control of our brains. Power People, the celebrity franchise, is troubling enough as it is. The setting the mindplayers move about in isn't a corporatized dystopia, and it's better off for it.Nothing to do with the story...(1) I'd like to point out a couple of the covers. The cover of the edition I used for this review has the rainbow-colored Trapper Keeper aesthetic I associate with the late '80s/early '90s and the snake is well chosen as a central image. While this cover's art isn't quite as slick, in my opinion, it represents one of the book's most important scenes, and is very similar to how I pictured that scene's mindscape. Very cool, both of them.(2) The edition I read was the "SF Gateway" e-book. While it's a credit to the quality of the novel that I didn't think the OCR issues were that much of a detriment, still, there were way too many of them and I question how well this was proofread after scanning. Missing commas, periods and apostrophes all over the place! Ugh.Back on track...Mindplayers's central, eponymous tech is fascinating and its ramifications in the larger culture, and for Allie in particular, pervade the whole book. It's full of immersive, trippy imagery, and it has a nice emotional payoff. A fun and thought-provoking read and one that I recommend.

  • Tobin
    2019-04-04 06:49

    One of my "top 10." I read it yearly, if not more frequently. Science fiction: Future society where people can connect mind-to-mind and a woman who becomes a counselor in a time when people can share their innermost lives and then need help dealing with the consequences. The main character seems initially shallow and immature, but she grows on you, and grows into herself. The world which can seem confusing, having so many new constructs to assimilate, is rich and has surprising detail for so short a read.

  • Bob Rust
    2019-03-21 05:55

    Mindplayers (1987) treating in simplistic fashion a vision of the human mind as constituted of sequences of internal psychodramas into which a healer may literally enter, given the proper Dream Hacking tools.

  • Jim
    2019-04-20 09:11

    This has been siting on my bookshelf for 10 plus year. Thinking I should give it a try.From the author's blog which you can follow by following her author's page here at Good Reads.

  • Stig Edvartsen
    2019-03-22 04:48

    It's an incredibly uneven book. Very unpolished in places, confusing, brilliant, sharp, edgy, laugh out funny, frightening, insensitive, haunting, mocking and loving.I suspect this is a book that will change with each re-read.

  • Joni Kettunen
    2019-03-24 07:58

    Viihdyttävä ja hauskalla tavalla monipuolinen. Loppuluvun alleviivaava ratkaisu latistaa hyvää kerrontaa.Kirja tuntuu ristiriitaiselta. Se vaikuttaa alusta puoleenväliin viiden tähden ilottelulta, mutta kangistuu loppua kohden. Hyvä kirja kaiken kaikkiaan.

  • Charles Dee Mitchell
    2019-04-15 07:57

    Alexandra Victoria Haas puts on a madcap, a device that provides a good half hour or so of psychosis, only to find that it is a flawed prototype. Jerry Wireammer, her bad news friend that offers her the defective goods, drops her off at a dry cleaners. When she comes to, her mind wiped, she is under arrest for using illegal devices. But the Brain Police, a branch of the civil service as threatening as their name, take an interest in Alexandra Victoria, or Allie as she is called. It seems she lives a very mental life, storing information in parts of her brain most people use for only the trivia of everyday life. She is offered an option. Prison for using the illegal madcap or training to be a professional Miindplayer at J. Walter Tech, the best school of its kind. Next chapter, Deadpan Allie, as she is now known, is off to J. Walter Tech. (Yes, there are shades of Harry Potter here.)In the 26th century Mindplay seems to have taken the place of all forms of psychotherapy and many entertainment outlets. Citizens visit Neurosis and Fetish Peddlers; work with lucid dreamers; or, hire Thrillseekers to find what is missing in their lives. This is not always as sensational as it sounds. One woman's thrill proves to be walking a particular kind of dog in the park when the weather is just right. Allie becomes a Pathos Finder, the most difficult path of all to follow. Pathos Finders are used mostly by artists who need to get in touch with real feelings. No actor would consider taking on a role without a pathos finder. Artists and musicians who have lost their way hire Pathos Finders to rediscover that creative core that allows them to excel in their fields.This is a very cerebral book. No nefarious plots are uncovered, and the fate of the earth never hangs in the balance. Readers spend a lot of time inside peoples' minds. The descriptions are good, very trippy (the book was written in 1987), and the insides of peoples' minds turn our to be distinguished by abrupt changes of location, potentially threatening presences, or at times some very nice folk. Cadigan does a good job of describing this interior world, but 20 some years later we have seen it all at the movies -- starting with The Cell2000, and twice in 2009 with Terry Gilliam's Dr. Parnassus and Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.. For that matter you could go back to Un chien andalou >(1929). But this is not to take away from Cadigan's accomplishments, because she by no means just piling on effects. Each Mindplay activity has a specific goal and entails its own dangers and its own revelations.What Cadigan has not done, in this her first novel, is structure her story to bring any level of suspense to bear or even to provide clear through lines for just what Allie is learning all this time. The episodic structure probably results from this being, for the most part, an elaborately stitched together series of previously published short stories. Allie is engaging, and her friend Jerry Wireammer is a charming but ill-fated fuck-up. Other characters are little more than props.I am looking forward to other Pat Cadigan novels to see where she goes with these ideas.

  • Roddy Williams
    2019-03-26 11:00

    For Allie, putting on the madcap that Jerry borrowed was a very big mistake. The psychosis itself was quite conventional, but it didn't go away when she took the madcap off, so the Brain Police took over leaving her with a choice - go to jail as a mind criminal or become a mindplayer.'Blurb from the 2000 Gollancz SF Collectors Edition‘Mindplayers’ comes from the heyday of cyberpunk and is set in a world where people can sell or edit their memories, enter another’s psyche, peddle psychoses and explore their own inner landscapes where old friends and relatives exist, powered by the memory of their living selves.When Alexandra’s friend Jerry Wirerammer persuades her to try an illegal mindplayer helmet it leads to arrest for both of them. For Jerry, this is the start of a downward spiral into criminal activity and worse, but for Alexandra (or Deadpan Allie as she subsequently becomes known) it opens up a whole new future. Allie it seems leads a very mental life and is given (as an alternative to criminal charges) the chance to train as Mindplayer. From here on we follow Allie’s life and examine the influences that the people with whom she comes into contact have on her.It is a seemingly straightforward novel which, on closer reading, examines rather more complex concepts than may at first be apparent.The central idea which Cadigan explores is that of identity and seems to be asking the question ‘Are we truly individuals when we are changed by everyone with whom we come into contact?’In our normal world this would be a profound question but it takes on a new dimension in a society where one can enter the psyche of another or download their memories.Following her training, Allie decides to become a pathosfinder, which, to all intents and purposes is a therapist-cum-mind surveyor, assessing her clients’ psyches in order to advise them whether they are suited for the path they’ve chosen in life.Allie is confronted again and again with the question whether a personality can ‘transfer’ from one mind to another. Her old friend Jerry Wirerammer contacts her (usually when he is in trouble) and demonstrates the issue when he sells his personality to a Persona Hire company, and subsequently has many of his memories erased to prevent himself being incriminated in various felonies. Ultimately there are more of Jerry’s memories in other people’s heads than in his own.There are later novels set in the same universe, such as ‘Fools’ which is a far darker, more complex piece.This, however, is fast, accessible, unfailingly inventive throughout and bursting with concepts about consciousness which are practically Zen-like in their philosophical implications.And it’s funny. What more could one ask for?

  • Nicholas Barone
    2019-03-31 08:49

    I was about to read Pat Cadigan's 1995 novel, Fools, when I realized that it was set in the same universe as her first novel, Mindplayers. Being the completionist that I am, I naturally decided to read Mindplayers first."Mindplay" refers to the use of technology to directly stimulate the brain through a connection with the optical nerve. A mindplayer can try on new personas, get neuroses removed to improve mental health, temporarily add neuroses for fun, even directly link their mind to another mindplayer's.Allie Haas is a young woman who commits the mind crime of giving herself illegal psychoses for kicks. She gets caught, but due to her young age and her aptitude for mindplay, she is offered the chance to pay for her crimes by training to a licensed mindplayer - one who makes a mind to mind link with people in order to help them with their mental problems. The story follows Allie through her training and into her professional life.Overall, the book didn't do much for me. The world Cadigan creates is interesting, and some of the scenes painted are very vivid. On the other hand, the characters and the story weren't all that engaging. The mindplay concept is interesting, but others have done more with the idea (Roger Zelazny's The Dream Master comes to mind).I am glad I read the book, as it increased my enjoyment of Fools, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone on its own merits.

  • Allan Dyen-Shapiro
    2019-04-09 07:13

    In the last chapter of this book, Cadigan puts the theme in the mouth of the minor character, Nelson Nelson, "...we're made of all the lives we've ever touched." This line would be pithy and profound if applied to everyday life, but it is all the more so when applied to a mindplayer, one whose job is to enter and alter the minds of others. The reader first encounters Allie as a carefree youth who will try any drug and has graduated to mindcaps, using a particular one that allows the user to experience psychosis. But as this is a beta version, there is no off switch, and a trip to the "drycleaners" lands her in the hands of authorities, who give her the choice of becoming a professional mindplayer or prison. From this point, the reader experiences a series of vignettes in which characters with whom she mindplays affect her, generally deeply. The roots of the completely immersive experience Cadigan later achieves in Synners are seen here, but as there is one, first-person narrator, "Deadpan Allie," the style is somewhat more conventional. I'm not sure, as a reader, I bonded with Allie, but I was certainly intrigued by her, and I sense that's what Cadigan intended. The costs to her from mindplaying in terms of personal sanity and happiness are explored, but the novel leave much room for reader rumination.Highly recommended.

  • Justin Howe
    2019-03-29 03:51

    In 1955, EC Comics launched a comic called Psychoanalysis, and it was pretty much exactly what you’d expect for a comic called Psychoanalysis with a nameless doc talking to people laying on a couch. Mindplayers is sort of like that comic, except it’s SF from 1992, so the psychoanalysis is done via VR you access directly through your optic nerves after you remove your eyeballs. Deadpan Allie is the mindplayer in question and she’s a pathosfinder, tasked with entering into the mind-scape of artist patients and helping them integrate their personalities. The book has more an episodic than a three-act or whatever structure. It’s not a problem, but it’s the novel’s style and expectations should be set accordingly. Also lots of eyeballs get removed and that takes a bit of getting used to.

  • John
    2019-03-23 12:01

    Pat Cadigan made her mark in the 1980's as one of the finest writers of science fiction with her legendary short fiction and excellent novels such as "Mindplayers". Long out of print, this slender tome is one of the finest works of cyberpunk fiction; happily it is now back in print. Cadigan writes edgy, streetwise prose as carefully crafted as any by William Gibson; however, she does a better job in creating vivid, fascinating characters such as Deadpan Allie, the protagonist of "Mindplayers". Without a doubt, this could be a great psychological science fiction thriller akin to "Dark City" if anyone in Hollywood was clever enough to acquire the film rights to Cadigan's superb first novel. (Reposted from my 2001 Amazon review)

  • Neon Snake
    2019-04-12 05:51

    It's good - maybe 3.5 rather than 4, but I err on the side of generosity. Deadpan Allie is a great character, and the setting is believable in a psychedelic kind of way. It's a book that people *should* read, especially cyberpunk fans, if only to remind yourselves that Gibson (and that style) was not the only style in the genre, that there was humour and gonzo-influenced trippiness as well as the tightly-plotted tautness of The Sprawl series.The conceit is great; a psychological exploration of a character through her own delving into others' minds; it reminds me of PKD and Hunter S Thompson than anything else; and of course, this is A Good Thing.

  • Izabela Dziugieł
    2019-03-25 10:03

    Przyszłość psychoterapii?? ;) Bardzo mi się podoba to gibsonowskie połączenie pytań o tworzenie się tożsamości, futurystycznych kradzieży umysłu i teorii neurologicznych. Zabrakło mi przymrużenia oka za to, no ale i tak dobrze się bawiłam, przystając co chwila, żeby sobie nad jaźnią i osobowością podumać.

  • Jerometed
    2019-03-24 11:58

    The worst Sci-fi book I've had the misfortune to read. Until now, I've avoided the tripe, but wanda the gnu fish led me into the pages of this 'book' with an interesting quote. Won't repeat it here.I can't forgive someone who writes an introduction as promising Mindplayers' for writing a novel as bad as this.

  • Joshua Fasching
    2019-04-04 11:46

    I really enjoyed this book and I would love to read more stories in the mindplayer universe. It does feel like a collection of short stories at times. However I think that is how it was built, by gluing together short stories.

  • Elegant Elbow
    2019-04-21 11:07

    This is one of my very favorite books ever. I met Pat at the World Science Fiction Convention last year, and I got the impression that it didn't sell very well.This was one of the first books in the Cypherpunk genre that I ever read that wasn't cheerless and hopeless. So many great ideas.

  • Brandon Smith
    2019-03-26 06:05

    A haunting and dreamlike experience. 100% worth the read.

  • Macha
    2019-04-01 10:55

    hallucinogenic cyberpunk. out of the wilder reaches of Philip K. Dickian psychology of the future. whew. classic tour de force.

  • matthew
    2019-04-10 07:09

    More like three and a half stars

  • Vanessa
    2019-04-20 06:16

    Not what I was expecting. Expected cyberpunk, got psycho-babble instead. Literary critics ought to love it.

  • Nigel
    2019-03-21 11:49

    This is an excellent cyberpunk sci-fi novel - if you liked William Gibson's stuff you'll probably like this.

  • Elena
    2019-04-18 08:13

    This book was ok. Kind of dated and born of a happy relationship with chemical use or so it seems. Interesting thought.

  • Jake
    2019-04-18 07:03

    3.5 Looking forward to rest of Cadigan.