This is a highly intellectual look into a dystopian future where the use of neural implants and drug conditioning are used to keep the population calm and malleable.
Difficulty is that this conditioning represses feelings and intuition and can cause mental breakdowns in the population that represent future problems for the government. In addition, segments of the population have refused the treatment, and are involved in living and working in a low tech environment. They are known as “bornies” and have evolved, living completely apart from those that have accepted the treatment and its consequent enhanced functioning.
Alan Reynard, a government agent, is given the assignment of infiltrating a spiritual commune run by a healer named Maria Fria, who has modified the implants for increased functionality. Alan grows to believe in what Maria is doing, and it causes him to begin to work towards modifying the government’s social control.
The thesis of the book is interesting and the concept possible. But Nelson falls into the trap of an overabundance of explanation of what is happening and could very easily lose the reader in sheer wordiness.
5/16 Paul Lane
I, HUMAN by John Nelson. Cosmic Egg Books (May 27, 2016). ISBN 978-1785353307. 288p.