ReadersMagnet Review features Cyberbrain, a 2014 science-fiction thriller about mind control and cybernetics by Benoit Blanchard.

Cybernetics is the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things. In science fiction literature, cybernetics is among its themes. The narratives in these sci-fi books often involve cyborgs, artificial intelligence, humanoids, and mind control. Some of the classic sci-fi novels under this sub-genre include Limbo by Bermard Wolfe (1952), The God Machine by Martin Caidin (1968), Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem (1965), The Cybernetic Samurai by Victor Milan (1985), and The March of the Machines by Kevin Warwick (1997). Cybernetics is a common theme in movies, but in novels, it’s been a while since we last saw a decent sci-fi thriller on cybernetics. Today, ReadersMagnet Review features a dark dystopian novel on cybernetics and mind control, Cyberbrain by Benoit Blanchard.

A Dark Dystopian Project

Cyberbrain is a dystopian science fiction thriller by Benoit Blanchard. The 448-page book was released in 2014. In the book, the United States of America is entering a new era in the field of science and medicine. They want to use technology to help eradicate crime with the help of a billionaire doctor. Unknown to many, the sinister doctor plans to expand mind control throughout North America under the auspices of the nation’s president. By attaching devices called “cybers” to newborn babies, the United States saw a dramatic decline in the crime rate. This is actually because of the mind control component of the device wherein the people’s thought patterns are being controlled and changed to prevent them from doing certain things.

 “Max Wilson, a medical school student from Buffalo, is looking forward to saving lives. His peers, however, are pressuring him to consider a lucrative offer from the Cyberbrain Corporation: train as a government-sponsored doctor inserting neural implants, or “cybers,” in the brains of newborns. Cyberbrain-a program designed by billionaire doctor Patrick Kobayashi to eliminate crime by stifling criminal thought right where it starts- in the brain. Max and his friends were part of first wave of Cyberbrain implants. He’s told time and again that it’s something he should be proud of, but he feels trapped inside his own head. An accident on Canadian soil puts him under the scalpel of Dr. Warren Alston. Alston is a respected neurosurgeon who refused to be a lackey to Kobayashi’s pet project at the beginning of his career. He fled to Canada, where free will was still the law of the land. Alston is recruited years later by Kobayashi to expand Cyberbrain’s operations to Canada, but he sends the billionaire packing. Alston extracts the cyber from Max’s brain and sends it to a secret lab for study. Alston is convinced Cyberbrain’s implants pose a far greater threat to society at large than merely suppressing criminal thought. Max has become the only living person to have his cyber removed. He discovers the true meaning of free will, and he understands why he felt trapped inside his head. Max refuses to submit to a direct order for a new implant; he is a wanted man. But Max is convinced that anyone who has undergone a neural implant must have their cyber removed, beginning with his girlfriend, Vanessa.” (excerpt from book description)

Overall, Benoit Blanchard’s Cyberbrain is a familiar theme with a fresh narrative that is easy to absorb. For sci-fi fans who love cybernetics and conspiracies, this is quite a remarkable book. Cyberbrain is an adventure, love story, politics, and sci-fi thriller rolled into one.

About Benoit Blanchard

Benoit Blanchard is from Laval, Quebec. Blanchard is a graduate of École Polytechnique de Montréal. He also studied economics extensively in the past few years. Aside from Cyberbrain, Benoit Blanchard also wrote Cyberbrain: Guardian Angel, the second book in his Cyberbrain series.