Posts Tagged ‘telepathic mind control’

The Mind Traders” by J Hunter Holly (1966)

A place of crawling spiders and poisonous snakes — where nightmares came true.

That was The Black, where men were punished for challenging minds more powerful and their own. The detective from Earth feared The Black more than any torture his own planet could conceive. But he had to uncover the sinister plot that threatened Earth and all its people.

Description: On Rigan, an alien planet where the society is rigidly structured according to the relative telepathic power to control others, someone is taking advantage of that power to kidnap defenseless humans and possibly the natives as well. Morgan Sellers, an investigator from Earth, is matched with Jael Forty, a native investigator with little experience in this situation as crime on that world of this type is very scarce. Communication between the classes is severely limited, adding to the difficulty. To obviate that, the human investigator is disguised as a Traveler, a native alien without the telepathic power, one that can pass among all of the classes without drawing a challenge, protected from telepathic control by the same rigid class structure.

Jael is a 40, meaning he is of the class that controls 40 telepathically inferior natives, although it is not shown exactly how he does that in practice: however, during the story, he is shown advancing to become a 50, which is also a plot point that will affect the actual resolution of the mystery.

Commentary: “The Mind Traders” is a much more memorable story than “The Flying Eyes” by the same author. The depictions of the rigid class structure sticks in the mind long after the story is over: the way the different classes segregate at parties, the way dress color (Travelers wear red, 40s were green) indicates class, the deferential way subordinate classes must address higher classes, the mental battles that determine rising in classes. It also shows the difficulties involved in having and maintaining that social structure, especially when that society comes into conflict with another society, and the resolution of the plot suggests drastic changes to the society as a result.

Recommendation: Recommended more for the societal depiction than anything else. It shows just how a society comprised of mind controlling telepaths can exist, what limitations came about to preserve the society and the individuals and how it has adapted to maintain itself. As a mystery it is mostly flat, the major mystery being how the society works, not so much the actual crimes involved. It should also be noted that while the Rigans are capable of telepathic mind control, they are not communicating telepaths but they are empaths.

Also of interest is the method of punishment called “The Black”. From the descriptions, it appears to be a total isolation of all outside stimuli, a complete mental cut-off from the outside world, which allows all of the internal nightmares full reign within the consciousness, possibly fostered by the one enforcing The Black. It is the main punishment for transgressions on Rigan other than being Controlled.

Unfortunately the title leaves something to be decided, as it just isn’t as descriptive as “The Flying Eyes”: something like “The Mind Masters” or “The Mind Robbers” would have much more descriptive.

Judge Anderson Makes an Appearance

The latest scenes posted online from the filming of the new Judge Dredd movie “Dredd” include a shot of Psi-Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), alongside the title character, notably as she appeared in the 2000 AD comics without the standard judge’s helmet and what appears to be a Psi-Judge badge. (Its mostly covered by her arm but its significantly different than Judge Dredd’s badge.)

Psi-Judges were a special section of the the Judges in the Judge Dredd comic published in the 2000 AD comics magazine, individuals with psychic talents such as telepathy, empathy, precognition, etc. Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson was a powerful telepath and also possessed a facility for precognition. She was considered one of the strongest telepaths in the section and was one of the few other judges, including Psi-Judges, that Judge Dredd himself trusted.

Although its unknown what use the character’s psychic powers will be in the storyline, it is still a good sign that she appears in the new movie. At least is should be better than the last attempt.

The Green Master” by Kenneth Robeson

In a secret fortress high in the Andes, Doc and his crew are enslaved by a race of extrasensory super-blondes who worship a green stone with a life of its own!

In this Doc Savage novel, Doc and his aides Ham and Monk face a race of beings with the power to influence anyone they meet, and who are in New York with a mission that brings them into conflict the the Man of Bronze!

⇒ Continue reading “The Green Master” by Kenneth Robeson”

Trance” by Kelly Meding

[amtap book:isbn=1451620926]

Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.

It was a battle decades in making: the Ranger Corps, government sponsored Metas (people with super-powers) battling the Banes (anyone else with similar powers.) It all came down to a running battle in downtown Manhattan, as the more numerous Banes slew the Rangers, reducing their numbers until only the youngest members remained, which included Trance, ‘ten-going-on-eleven’ with the power to hypnotize people by looking into their eyes, which wasn’t much help during the running firefight. It was all reaching the end, their comrades and family down, nothing left to protect and defend them.

And then it was over. All the Metas lost their powers at once. The government stepped in to remove the remaining underaged Rangers and try to return them to society, leaving the Banes to stay on the ruined island. And the world went on with its business.

But it wasn’t over. Somehow, the mysterious process that caused the Metas to lose their powers stopped several years later. The battle, left on hold for so many years, was back on again. Their old enemy, Spectre, was already targeting them before they can re-unite.

Commentary: Alas, the only scene seen with Trance using her hypnotic powers is in the first few pages, so the potential of the book’s title was essentially wasted, but it still is worthy of being an entry in the Collection because of the powers of the opponent, Spectre, which are telepathic and telekinetic control, which he uses to control innocent victims and force them to attack the Meta heroes.

History: I saw this title at the bookstore last week and felt tempted to get it, if only for the possibility that the ‘trance’ as described involved some form of hypnotic control. I was not disappointed when I discovered this line within the first few pages:

My ability to hypnotize people and alter their thoughts worked only if I looked them in the eye.

Therefore I was disappointed when at the end of the first chapter, every one of the Metas lost their powers, and later, when they got them back, Trance got her grandmother’s energy control powers instead. Such a waste …

And I did have my doubts about the book, because it had the (external) hallmarks of being part of the ‘paranormal romance’ genre, but I found that this wasn’t the case. There is a strong romantic element to it, but its not as strong as the genre I mentioned would indicate. For my part, I see the ‘paranormal romance’ genre consisting of hot chicks with paranormal backgrounds (vampires, demons, werewolves, etc.) involved equally with hot&heavy sex and violence. This wasn’t the case here, as the sex was pretty non-existent and the romance angle as a rational part of the character development.

Recommendation: I can’t really recommend it for the hypnotic angle but it was a fairly good read.

This Week in Comics — 2011/12/14

Star Trek & The Legion of Super Heroes #3

The team-up comic is now in its third issue and only now have the heroes of both worlds met. And, of course, they do so by getting into a fight. Its largely a pointless battle, what with Brainiac 5 being invulnerable to phasers because of force field belt, and the other superheros being more than a match for un-powered humans (or Vulcans) even though they are carrying powerful energy weapons. And just one example of that is Saturn Girl using her telepathic powers to make Lt. Uhura drop her phaser.

Fortunately for all involved, the smartest members of each team quickly come to the realization that they all were not enemies, which is a good thing as quickly after, the real enemies arrive: the Fatal Five of the Legion (in powers and weapons) cast as creatures from Star Trek (Gorn, Orion, etc.: the Emerald Eye is wielded by a green Orion woman.) The two teams naturally work together to defeat them.

The Incredibles

The comic series based after the movie “The Incredibles” is now being reprinted in magazine format. I don’t know the schedule but soon the Dash vs. Mesmerella storyline will come out.

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