First Edition, Wellington
Copyright: Pat Whitaker (c) 2008
Mindset is a story basically of us. A future us where the world is divided between those with telepathy and those who don't (AKA The Blanks). Most of the world is link by this telepathic ability, the internet is gone and so are most things, the world is almost a utopia where everyone can read the others mind. Basic communication needs are not required.
Then there's those without telepathy. They are looked on with suspicion as their minds cannot be read. They are the undesirables. And the telepathic society has decided to put them aboard a ship and send them off to Mars.
Several ships to be exact and we meet this futuristic story with those being bundled to the final ship. Everything is automated, they have nothing to worry about, they are told. And they have not been lied to. Kind of. There are things they are not told, but they shan't be mentioned here.
Mindset is a story of like-minded humans trying to survive. The story delves into social commentary but in a way that tells the story and doesn't subtract from it. There is no Soapbox action going on in here.
For the most part, the story is tight and follows a set plot driven path. There is little characterization, but for the most part it is not needed. Although I do think that when they reached Mars and met some of the remaining members of a previous crew, the story dragged on a bit as the characters made up their minds and set a course of action, which led to a very satisfying conclusion.
This book is hard SF and will be an interesting read for into this genre.
Pat Whitaker has two books in this years short-list for the 2009 SJV awards; Mindset is one of them.