Welcome, welcome to Lindsay Smith, author of Sekret, a book that I really, really am excited about and totally enjoyed. She’s here today on Good Books and Good Wine to talk to you all about The Advantages And Disadvantages To Being Psychic.
How fun would it be to know the thoughts of everyone around you? Well, not very fun at all, Yulia would argue. In Soviet Russia, her psychic power means that she overhears plenty of things she wishes she hadn’t, and under the KGB’s direction, she’s responsible for tearing thoughts from others’ minds. And because she’s surrounded by other psychics, her own thoughts are never safe—especially when she thinks about trying to escape her plight!
Well, her situation is pretty extreme. If you’re fortunate enough not to live in 1960s Soviet Russia (we’ll assume you are), there are certainly some advantages to reading the thoughts that others are too polite/rude/petty/evasive/manipulative/well-intentioned/whatever-the-case-may-be to say. But there are significant disadvantages—not even considering that your level of intrusiveness would give PRISM and Google Glass pause, there’s often a good reason we don’t voice our skittering, momentary thoughts. They can be nasty, petulant, self-centered, and magpie-like before we get a chance for our higher-level reasoning, logic, and empathy to kick in.
In the world of Sekret, however, merely reading thoughts isn’t the only psychic ability in the KGB’s interrogation kit. Which of the following abilities would you want? Or is ignorance bliss?
Remote viewing, the ability to project your sight (and sometimes other senses) into a distant location, isn’t quite as useful as teleportation would be, but it’s pretty close. How nice would it be to sit in on an 8am lecture from the comfort of bed? Or you could devote your life to hunting down missing people. Remote viewing is the ultimate for voyeurism and people-watching, but it has limited applications as psychic powers go.
Telemetry. Yulia reads thoughts and memories through touch, pulling them off of people and objects alike. The “touch” aspect makes it fairly easy for her to shut off the power whenever she wants—I imagine it gets pretty overwhelming for psychics otherwise—but the physical limitations are challenging for spywork. Unless you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to get lost in the crust of memories that accumulates on everything.
Foresight. I’m so indecisive—I hate not being able to see the road not taken! With foresight, you can see more clearly the consequences of a choice, as different pathways become more vivid the more likely they become. The major downside, though, is how much this power would sap the joy and mystery out of life. Maybe you could heartbreak and failure, but you know what they say about loving and losing.
Scrubbing. In Sekret, a scrubber is a mind-reader who can alter or erase the thoughts and memories of someone else. This is one dark, dark power to wish for. I’ll admit there are times I’ve wished for a Men in Black-style flash to erase something incredibly embarrassing I’ve just done, but seriously? It’s pretty tough to justify widespread use of this ability. Or is it? Is it wrong to soothe someone’s pain by taking away dangerous memories, or excise a troubling line of thought? When everyone around you can use your thoughts against you, maybe an empty mind is the safest course.
How about you? Would you want to have a psychic power? What if you knew someone else had such a power? Would you ever feel safe around them?
Follow Lindsay Smith on Twitter! | See Lindsay Smith on the Fierce Reads Tour in May! | Check out Lindsay Smith’s website and her blog! | Read Doppel, a new short story by Lindsay Smith set in the world of Sekret. | Download and read (for free) the first five chapters of Sekret.
Check out the rest of the blog tour:
Sekret Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday March 25 | The Book Rat
Wednesday March 26 | Love is Not a Triangle
Thursday March 27 | The Flyleaf Review
Friday March 28 | Read My Breath Away Book Blog
Monday March 31 | ExLibris
Tuesday April 1 | Forever Young Adult
Wednesday April 2 | MacTeenBooks
Thursday April 3 | IceyBooks
Friday April 4| Xpresso Reads
Finally! Thanks to Macmillan, I have one hardcover copy of Sekret to giveaway! This contest is open to US and Canadian readers only. Must be 13 or older. I totally won’t sell your information. Use the rafflecopter to enter.