When two sisters and a teenage boy develop the same strange longing for products that can only be purchased in nearby gated villages, their parents and their Pagan community come together to solve the puzzle and offer support in the short story "From Our Minds to Yours." Available in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales from Llewellyn Worldwide.
C.S.’s short story raises interesting questions. It touches on the consequences of technology introduced too quickly and without forethought; Nanotechnology as a replacement for advertising, driving an unnatural desire for a particular product, and the unforeseen consequences if that product becomes unattainable. The premise is brilliant because of how probable it could be: How could any modern corporation refuse the idea of ‘converting’ sales through infection instead of through the incessant repetition of advertising (just compare the cost of developing and implementing that kind of tech versus that of a 30 sec spot at the Superbowl). It turns a classic theme on its head: Instead of sufficiently advanced technology appearing as magic, it is the use of magic to overcome the effects of advanced tech gone wrong. As one trained in psychology and neuroscience, the placebo effect is close to magic in the Clarkian sense: The brain, convinced it is going to get better, does. To a pagan neuroscientist the idea of manipulating the placebo effect through rituals and belief is only a technology that has not yet been understood: What more fitting than to use this kind of magic to break the effects of an advanced tech like neuro-nanobots. It’s enough to make my inner geek dance skyclad under a full moon.
Geek Inked Magazine
From Our Kinds [sic] to Yours is a futuristic tale, featuring people becoming addicted to buying products from corporate-run towns. There isn't a solution to it, exactly, but it ends on a note of hope. (And there's a concept likely to happen in real life someday...)
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Finalist for the Pagan Fiction Award.