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Disturbing sci-fi story with echoes of Huxley, December 25, 2016
This was a disturbing work which raises questions of complicity and empathy. What do we owe an amoral man? If someone has done the unthinkable to hundreds of people, what level of emotional response do we feel when he has the tables turned?
I don't know that this work provides a satisfying exploration of the deeper questions it asks. It's a short sci-fi work where we start off as the orderly who helps an egotistical doctor attempt to perfect mind control. We aren't given much ambiguity: we know what we're doing, we know the price that our unwilling test subjects pay, and we know that we're doing something evil that must be hidden.
Told over roughly three acts, this piece seems to ultimately ask if the end justifies the means, but cleverly without ever really showing us the ends. In the end, we have a chance to respond with how we feel about the question, but it doesn't feel like an answer to a grand question but a personal one.
This thought-provoking piece might have benefitted from more: a longer build-up, a longer denouement. I think a longer third act, with the question being posed later after a series of experiences, might have made it more enriching.
All in all a worthy effort which raises questions and leaves the reader wanting more.