Thomas C. Stone, Author, November 17, 2009
“It could be said that the novel MINDSET, by Pat Whitaker, is a story of survival, but the truth is, it is more than that. It is a story about the construction of a new society and the cooperation required between individuals first in order to survive, then to flourish. MINDSET begins in a future where Telepaths have risen to prominence and even dominant the population of Earth. The non-telepathic are an encumbrance to the new order and so are rounded up and sent to camps, isolating them from the rest of society. The final solution is to rid Earth of all non-telepaths and this is done by shipping them out to Mars. The story focuses on the last group to leave Earth.
Whitaker uses the premise to imagine how a cooperative group of people could form in the midst of dire circumstances. When the non-telepaths reach Mars, to their chagrin they discover the Mars settlement has collapsed and there is no way to reach the surface of the planet. Chaos reigns and only a handful of the previous settlers have survived. With only their own devices, a desperate new plan is hatched, one that will take them in an entirely new direction – farther into space to the resource-rich asteroid belt.
The group must endure seemingly insurmountable technical difficulties while adhering to a new set of social rules. Author Whitaker displays his passion for the sciences as he describes approach vectors and velocities, fuel consumption problems, and practical space navigation. There is plenty of science in MINDSET but not at the expense of character development. His characters struggle to exist in a closed environment with an uncertain future. They recognize that without a cooperative effort, they are doomed to failure. Problems and solutions are discussed and analyzed without the aegis of an elected leader and it may be that for some readers, this is the most interesting aspect of the book. Could such a cooperative society evolve out of need without the force of law and without a hierarchy of authority?
MINDSET is a good read for a rainy Sunday afternoon. It is a tale of the perseverance of the human spirit and the ultimate triumph of that spirit. Additionally, there are surprising twists to Whitaker’s story that will delight the most jaded reader. Whitaker combines imagination with rock-solid science in offering up MINDSET.”
Lee Pletzer, Author, May 13, 2009
“MINDSET is a story basically of us. A future us where the world is divided between those with telepathy and those who don’t (AKA The Blanks). Most of the world is link by this telepathic ability, the internet is gone and so are most things, the world is almost a utopia where everyone can read the others mind. Basic communication needs are not required.
Then there’s those without telepathy. They are looked on with suspicion as their minds cannot be read. They are the undesirables. And the telepathic society has decided to put them aboard a ship and send them off to Mars.
Several ships to be exact and we meet this futuristic story with those being bundled to the final ship. Everything is automated, they have nothing to worry about, they are told. And they have not been lied to. Kind of. There are things they are not told, but they shan’t be mentioned here.
MINDSET is a story of like-minded humans trying to survive. The story delves into social commentary but in a way that tells the story and doesn’t subtract from it. There is no Soapbox action going on in here.
For the most part, the story is tight and follows a set plot driven path. There is little characterization, but for the most part it is not needed. Although I do think that when they reached Mars and met some of the remaining members of a previous crew, the story dragged on a bit as the characters made up their minds and set a course of action, which led to a very satisfying conclusion.”
This book is hard SF and will be an interesting read for anyone into this genre.
Christine Jones, Author, January 21, 2009
“Pat Whitaker’s book MINDSET is a page turner that I couldn’t put down until the end. Although science fiction, Whitaker’s realistic characters confront many issues, which could easily apply to today’s trials and tribulations in many societies. Telepathic humanity sees those not telepathic as a problem they wish to resolve without causing mass guilt. During their deportation to Mars, the curiosity of the main character, ‘Blake’ leads other non-telepaths to join him in learning and creating alternatives to survive during uncertain times. The sheer determination of this group, without any promise or leadership, makes this compelling reading. The attitude of having nothing to lose drives the characters to explore options, learning from scratch, technology and a means to work together without judgment, taking all opinions and theories seriously.
Obviously, the author has done his research into space travel, which comes across in MINDSET. A book I would highly recommend that goes beyond the journey of just a group of travelers.”
Jonathan Saville, Author, May 28, 2011
“Life is what you make it, and how you deal with it is reflected in your mind set. It was a great tale with many unexpected twists and turns, managing to surprise me on several occasions!“