Author Daniel H. Wilson writes another fabulous novel about the role technology plays in the near future. Amped examines how people react when confronted with awe inspiring technology they do not fully understand. Owen Gray, the narrator, has a device similar to the cochlear implant (see the link and illustration below) surgically inserted into his head to control his seizures. Other people around the world start getting these devices too for various other reasons - attention deficit disorder, Down syndrome, Parkinson's disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other conditions related to the brain. What began as a miraculous medical solution soon becomes an elective surgery used by regular people and the government to enhance intelligence and physical strength. Suddenly a debate explodes about who is a real human and who is not. Then government gets involved and the Supreme Court of the United States declares that everyone who has received a device like Owen's is no longer considered a legal citizen and will not be protected by any existing laws. What happens next is a very plausible and frightening account of what fear and misunderstanding can do to a society when confronted by someone or something they perceive to be dangerous and unequal to themselves.
For the curious, follow this link for more information about cochlear implants.
Valerie @ MPL Central