Book Summary: Convicted criminals are no longer sent to prison as a lost cause…they’re offered rehabilitation into normal society. Inmates are allowed to enter the mind of a civilian for a few days, to observe that person’s life and understand how the thought processes of a normal, non-criminally inclined person work. Indira is a convicted bank robber, and has been in the program since its inception. She knows its limitations better than the researchers themselves. They think their experiment offers no danger of contamination–or full-out mind melding. Her only way to escape from prison is to prove them wrong.
I do not read many short stories because I am greedy for a good story to last as long as possible. Having said that, let me say that I was more than a little bit unsure on how to review this short story. I have read Anthologies and such and was able to base most of my review on the whole of the work but Mind Melding is only 4000 words. Would I be able to write a review to do it justice?
The answer is yes. Yes, Mind Melding is a short read but it is clever. Clever and interesting. It immerses you into a surreal world and culture where rehabilitation for criminals has become an invasive look into the lives of people who do not commit crimes. Mind Melding also raises issues concerning any agency having the right to use people unknowingly in order to deal with a criminal mind. I also found the arrogance of the programs researchers to be amusing. Engineers once said the Titanic was unsinkable and look how well that turned out.
I am looking forward to more from Melissa M. Kent. 4000 words is not a huge amount of content to develop a compelling story that readers will remember but Ms. Kent does it easily. I can’t wait to read a full novel from her, i’m thinking it will be brilliant.