Inspiration for the Plot of Other Hands

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In the story of Other Hands, key government officials and their co-conspirators secretly attempt to cure the world of crime, terrorism, substance abuse, and all forms of interpersonal conflict by implementing a mind control system stolen from the planet New California. They believe this alien technology is the only hope for humankind. An important influence for this element of the plot is the following quote from Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World:

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961

In Other Hands, the pharmacological analogue is nanomachines that are injected into unsuspecting subjects, starting with maximum-security prisoners. In the manner of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, one of the returning astronauts performs experiments on the prisoners to analyze potential side effects and to prevent possible system malfunctions. Once tested on prisoners and drug addicts, implementation can proceed to the population at large.