A novel by Michael D. Smith
mass market paperback (604 pages)
Excerpt (Chapters 1-3 in PDF format)
An answer to any question is delivered in a telepathic instant, and a database of all our queries tracks the progress of a coming apocalypse. High school art students Oliver and Sam find themselves blindsided by urban terrorism and the malfunctioning, reality-altering Sortmind app.
When a newly-hired programmer at the Trantor Group, Mindwiped by Sortmind abuse, proclaims himself an alien from planet Cnzaar, Trantor Group CEO Peter Trantor scrambles to reassure his latest client, the lovely but unreadable bank executive Anna Winstead, that his telepathic Sortmind app really isn’t as deadly as people assume.
Barbie Malroux, a Canterra Art Institute cheerleader, shames architect and reluctant political activist Mitchell Emersonn for his stale, doctrinaire architectural work. Drained by overuse of Sortmind, the hot-tempered Emersonn accesses a racy telepathic personal ad and is led to a romantic rendezvous with fast food employee Shelley Bosworth.
High school art students Oliver Perrine, traumatized by the terrorist bombing of the public library, and Sam Emersonn, coolly pragmatic and politically aware, struggle to define themselves against their fascist fathers, the founders of the reviled Citizens Against Telepathy. Sam’s sister Teresa discovers she’s a link in generation upon generation of power people, and that she and Oliver belong to the secret society of Tree Leopards.
Mitchell Emersonn telepathically reviews his girlfriend Shelley’s files after she proclaims that she too is an alien from Cnzaar. A library clerk invents hallucinogenic Concentrated Telepathic Tablets and spreads them to the Canterra Art Institute. When Sam and Oliver trip on CTT, Oliver loses his grip and threatens to kill himself. But he later maintains that he and Sam were kidnapped aboard a flying saucer, and that the cat K’han, a Tree Leopard comrade, rescued the boys.
Thalia Aster, the mayor of Canterra, is unable to hold the city together as the fanatic Open Telepathy Foundation, led by charismatic ex-preacher Edward Duce, battles the soldiers of Citizens Against Telepathy at the Memorial Day Pledge of Resistance Rally. When the frenzied militias attack the Trantor Building’s Sortmind servers and the app begins evaporating, Oliver has to sort out his adolescent fantasies and discover what’s real.