“[T]ranscranial magnetic stimulation beams targeted magnetic pulses deep inside patients’ brains — an approach that has been likened to rewiring a computer. “We are actually changing how the brain circuits are arranged, how they talk to each other…” ―UCLA Newsroom, June 12, 2017
Since at least 2017, technology has made it possible for scientists to “rewire” connectors in the brain. These techniques, originally developed for people suffering severe depression, are already being used in other therapies such as habit modification.
In REINCEPTION (Winding Road Publishing LLC; October 25th 2022; $14.99; 979-8986604336), the first in a new sci-fi trilogy, Sarena Straus, a former prosecutor in the Bronx District Attorney’s office, imagines a time when using technology to eliminate unwanted behaviors is the norm. REINCEPTION takes place in 2126 in New York City; there is an extreme class divide, and parents are allowed to modify their kids’ brains until they are twenty years old. Now, a technology originally invented to help addicts— referred to as ReInception— is being used for everything from taming unruly children to reprogramming pedophiles.
Leandrea, an “unmodified” young college student, is not comfortable with the idea of ReInception. She also feels empathy for the Proles—a working class forced to live at ground level where they are exposed to the harsh environment of the future. There, the Proles work in service positions paid for by the privileged class.
Like many young people, Leandrea has not had the motivation to be proactive about her rebellious feelings. That is, until her boyfriend is illegally modified by his pro-ReInception family in order to separate him from Leandrea’s “bad influence” as a detractor.
In desperation, Leandrea turns to Ward, a Prole who is involved in a plot to undermine modification practices. Although Ward tries to push her away, Leandrea is determined to make a difference in the world and in the process captures Ward’s heart and renews his faith in mankind.
REINCEPTION is a sci-fi thriller that explores what happens when good-faith technology is taken too far and abused. The novel touches on many of the issues facing society today around privacy, reproductive rights, and class divide. The tension is palpable on the pages as Leandrea and Ward work to execute their plan to take down ReInception, while escaping capture by the Authority. Their mantra: “Trust no one and escape modification at all costs”.
by Sarena Straus
Winding Road Publishing LLC
Publication Date: October 25, 2022
Paperback ISBN: 979-8986604336
Page count: 289