What wouldn’t we build; if loss was impermanent, happiness could be constructed, and our limits were boundless?
Administration agent Xi regulates an immersive nostalgic mirror of her decaying capital city, until she finds avatars controlled by dead users, and digging only raises questions about the system she serves, and the friendships she thought were real.
Disgraced aerospace engineer Ming Wen, launches her intelligent luxury orbiter, and a chance at redemption, with her daughter onboard. But when the ship seems to know things she’s long forgotten, the only way out is within
.From a cyberpunk mystery that threatens to break the violet skies of a beautiful dream, to the quiet terror of facing corrupted love, and reckoning, in deep space, OTHER MINDS will immerse you in a near-future world where anything can be built, except what we need.
Other Minds reunites two sci-fi novellas (Signal/Tracer and Carrier), both sharing themes such as the nature of reality and identity, written by Eliane Boey, and published by Dark Matter INK. Mind blowing pieces that combined with a really precise prose create a really immersive book, even with how different the stories might feel.
Signal/Tracer is a fast-paced technothriller, set in a near future in an analogue Singapore, where people are slowly disconnecting from reality and just living in a virtual world which portrays a nostalgic version of the country. In this situation is where Xi, a double agent of the Administration, enters, having to deal with a conspiracy which belongs to the cyberpunk genre; while at the same time having to deal with her own ghosts.
Boey does an excellent job of creating an interesting story around the nature of reality, creating a big question focused on if collectiveness can decide about what's real; all with an excellent pacing, using short chapters and keeping a frenetic pace. The setting does an amazing job of transmitting the near futuristic sensation, while feeling at the same time familiar due to the inclusion of nowadays Singapore details.
Courier is a brief novella, really immersive, which puts the focus on unresolved grief and on identity, and at the same time, can be interpreted as a critic of a system that puts the profits over safety, following the engineer Ming Wen. Putting her daughter inside the new intelligent orbiter is producing terrifying results, which is creating a really difficult situation for her.
Despite the change of setting, we can appreciate similar elements in the craft, keeping the fast pacing and the short chapters; a story with a big emotional weight, a payoff for a setting that is made following two different timelines.
Other Minds is an excellent duology, which I think it would be loved for those that are looking for near future sci-fi, especially if you like Asian inspired settings. Eliane Boey manages to pack so much significance in a short length; definitely an author to follow in the future.
Eliane Boey is a Chinese Singaporean writer of speculative fiction, and a full member of the SFWA.
Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, the Penn Review, Translunar Transit Lounge, and Weird Horror, among others. Her first book, OTHER MINDS, will be published on 5th September '23 by Dark Matter INK.
Eliane read Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and Interdisciplinary Humanities at New York University. She has a working knowledge of bulk cargo ships and ports—regretfully terrestrial—which continues to inspire her writing.
She usually gets her best ideas while trail running, or swimming, and sometimes manages to write them down.