Mindplayers is a cyberpunk novel by Pat Cadigan. It was published in 1987. It's Cadigan's first book.
When first published, Mindplayers was runner-up for the Philip K.Dick Memorial Award for best original paperback. A portion of the novel, in its short-story form, was a finalist for the Nebula Award. Working title: Pathosfinder. 'Deadpan Allie' also features in the short story "Dirty Work". Another of her novels, Fools, is set in the same future.
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.
Alexandra Victoria Haas, Allie, is a sensation-seeking young woman, obtaining illicit thrills from her shady friend Jerry Wirerammer. But Allie goes badly astray when Jerry suplies 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 McFloy, 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 Pathsofinding; Thrillseeking or Dreamfeeding...
Buy this book