Written by: Brad Aiken
Published By: Padwolf Publishing
Reviewed By: Melissa Minners
Imagine a world in which surgical procedures are a thing of the past, a world in which microscopic organic robots can be painlessly inserted into your body and programmed to repair damage to your internal organs, clear away clogs in your arteries and much more. Doctors Paul Hingston and Sandra Fletcher live in such a world. In the year 2045, Doctors Hingston and Fletcher of Johns Hopkins University have just perfected the use of these microscopic organic robots, known as nanobots. After giving a presentation regarding their newly perfected nanobot technology, Hingston and Fletcher are approached by J.T. Anderson, pioneer of the nanobot technology and owner of the Baltimore Nanotechnology Institute. Anderson offers both doctors a job at his company and the opportunity to make much more money than the university could ever give them. Dr. Hingston jumps at the chance. Idealistic Dr. Fletcher rejects the offer and remains at Johns Hopkins University, eventually becoming the Lab Director, Dr. Hingston’s former position at the University.
Fast forward five years into the future and we find Dr. Fletcher preparing to announce her discovery of a way to use nanobot technology to repair the parts of the brain damage brought on by massive strokes. Doctor Hingston has been working on the very same technology at BNI and is certain that Dr. Fletcher somehow has stolen his work. Meanwhile, a faction working for the government finds this new use of nanobot technology to be quite intriguing. After all, if the nanobots can be used to repair parts of a damaged brain, why couldn’t they be used to control the brain altogether?
After several mysterious accidents involving head injuries take place in the Baltimore area, Police Detective Richie Kincade finds himself researching nanobot technology and BNI. His investigation reveals some horrifying information about plans to use the technology on government officials. Kincade, Hingston and Fletcher soon find themselves embroiled in a murderous game of espionage and intrigue in which none of the players can be trusted. Can they survive long enough to expose the unscrupulous renegade government agents and their plans, or will they just become pawns in the agents’ evil plot.
In his latest sci-fi novel, Mind Fields, Brad Aiken‘s brilliance as a writer weaves a strikingly vivid tale of scientific advancement that leads to a terrifying vision of the future. Imagining a world in which surgery has been scrapped in preference to tiny computers no bigger than a human cell is not exactly impossible. Advancements in the scientific world have made that idea more and more believable for the future. That being said, it is no great jump to believe that this technology could eventually be used for wrong-doing, such as controlling the actions of the individual it is used upon. Thus, author Brad Aiken takes an idea that would be acceptable to the reader and adds characters we can relate to, a vision of the future that is foreseeable, and a storyline that is both intriguing and enjoyable. Add to all of that some chase scenes, assassination plots, shootouts and explosions. The resulting rollercoaster ride of action and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel! Mind Fields makes a terrific addition to any science fiction lover’s library as a realistic look into the medical and scientific future.