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March 11, 2010

Riding In Mexico By Brenda Cooper

Another optimistic Science Fiction story from DayBreak Magazine, Riding Mexico by Brenda Cooper is a great example of how optimism doesn't have to be simple or dull.

The story is set in a future where people can 'ride' other's thoughts. The people who allow the riding are often poor, living in second/third world countries, and they get paid to allow the ride. The riders are 'well off' people from the first world. 

In the story the riders are students and the protaganist, Isa, wants to ultimately ride others as part of the diplomatic core, to aid poorer people.

Although swapping bodies isn't original the story feels fresh due to the emotional slant, the one sided nature of the riding and all the questions it raises. It's written in first person, making the narrative easy to read and flowing, with some nice descriptive passages of Mexico.

The story ends with some moral questions left open for discussion, not least of which whether to force help on others, or to leave them with little other choice than to accept help.


1 Comment

Ms. Cooper is on the short list of new-to-me authors I'm really impressed by. I've read a short story, and a novel by her, both co-written by Larry Niven, and both of 'em were pretty impressive, particularly the novel, which is the most subtle thing Niven's been involved in since forever. (And make no bones about it, I love Niven!) I'll definitely have to check this out.