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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Good 'Psychic' Novels? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mr Secret-ary
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I'm a big Stephen King fan, but have only just got round to reading Carrie, his first novel. What strikes me - as well as the usual, dazzlingly good writing - is how PLAUSIBLE Carrie's TK powers are made to seem. I know that elsewhere on MC, in discussion of Deep Astonishment, contributors also refer to King's RED RUM concept from The Shining. Sooo... I was just wondering if you knew of any other good novels which present these kind of 'sixth sense' concepts believably - because in a number of ways it's a real help in investing one' own performance with credibility, dontcha think?


Smile (this was as near as I could get to an appropriate illustration - a picture of the Bunnie, with his 'Carrie'. Sorry.)
Huw Collingbourne
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Quote:
On 2002-07-27 11:15, Mr Secret-ary wrote:
I was just wondering if you knew of any other good novels which present these kind of 'sixth sense' concepts believably -

As you no doubt know, King's early novels were full of this kind of thing. - e.g. Firestarter (psychic pyromiania), The Dead Zone (dark clairvoyance - one of my favourites) and several of his short stories.

Quite a number of other horror writers have dabbled in this field too (e.g. Dean Koonz, The Bad Place - though I don't think Koonz has ever handled it as well as King).

For different (non horror) perspectives on what it would be like "if it were real", I would also recommend:

- Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg
(a middle-aged mind-reader has to come to terms with the loss of his abilities)

- The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
(a telepath who is being mentally destroyed)

Oh, not forgetting Cronenberg's film, Scanners. But maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to develop an act based on that? I mean, causing people's heads to explode by thought alone would definitely be dramatic. But who in their right minds would want to risk being in the audience....?

best wishes
Huw
Brash
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Quote:
On 2002-07-27 12:10, Huw Collingbourne wrote:
Oh, not forgetting Cronenberg's film, Scanners. But maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to develop an act based on that? I mean, causing people's heads to explode by thought alone would definitely be dramatic. But who in their right minds would want to risk being in the audience....?

:rotf:
That's the best.

Some of Phillip K. Dick's writing comes to mind. Minority Report definitely, I will follow up with some titles later.

The books of Julian May, specifically the Intervention books (Surveillance and MetaConcert), the Galactic Milieu Trilogy and the Pliocene saga deal with the appearance of humans with mental powers at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century. The Intervention books are the most "contemporary" of the series.

Brian
MichelAsselin
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Stephen King's The Dead Zone. The movie was very good as well.
" , ? ; !!! "
- Marcel Marceau, Feb 30, 1945.
Yaniv Deautsch
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I can't believe how many times I have read the Dead Zone.
It is one of the best books Stephen King has ever written in my opinion, along with Needful Things.
Think about the lead charcter, John Smith.
People actually were afraid of him.
I know that it's pure fiction, but shouldn't it be true a little with us in the real world?
If you can realy read minds, people should be a little scared of you.

Yaniv Deautsch
Mr Secret-ary
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Somewhat depressed at having to abandon my planned 'Head Explosion' routine. Otherwise, excellent points and pointers all - please keep 'em coming...
McCritical
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Quote:
On 2002-07-27 14:13, Brash wrote:

Some of Phillip k Dick's writing comes to mind. Minority Report definitely, I will follow up with some titles later.

Brian


Dick's "A Game of Unchance" would be a good piece to read if you ever want to do a psychic challenge.
magiker
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I am reading at the moment `Casting the Runes and other ghost stories´. By M. R. James
Although only short stories (some 21), all stories are well written. I quote, " His stories having been adapted , usually unsatisfactory, for television and the cinema, more successfully, through radio readings and recordings.

Rick
Magiker

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Huw Collingbourne
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On 2002-07-31 11:03, magiker wrote:
I am reading at the moment `Casting the Runes and other ghost stories´. By M. R. James

You're absolutely right! M.R. James stories describe the kind of weird atmosphere that a real psychic should be able to conjure up. Whereas many other ghost/horror story writers SHOW all the nasty monsters, James tends to describe the glimpsed shadows, the strange gusts of cold air, the odd noises in the corners, the touch of something that brushes past you in the darkness.

Just perfect!

Huw
David de Leon
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In John Crowley's urban fantasy classic "Little, Big" one of the characters has powers deriving from a memory system of the Method of Loci type. Instead of using the system for remembering things, she uses it for seeing into the future and for divining the best course of action. The way it worked was like this: the character would enter her palace and place a number of items (symbolic of the question she was pursuing an answer to) in various rooms of the building. On a later visit these items would then show subtle changes in appearance and/or location, in ways that could be meaningfully interpreted as an answer to her question. The issue of whether she had special powers or whether it was her unconscious providing her with answers she could otherwise not see is left open(ish) in the book.

I though this was a very original twist on mnemonics and a very believable kind of magic (nice too to be provided with a mechanics for the magic).

This is a fantastic book and well worth reading!
Philemon Vanderbeck
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On 2002-08-01 08:48, David de Leon wrote:
The way it worked was like this: the character would enter her palace and place a number of items (symbolic of the question she was pursuing an answer to) in various rooms of the building. On a later visit these items would then show subtle changes in appearance and/or location, in ways that could be meaningfully interpreted as an answer to her question.


Sounds like an interesting variation of Feng Shui...
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Bambaladam
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Brian Lumley's Necroscope. Lots of PSIINT spy stuff and a bunch of mediums. Shame about all the annoying vampires tho.

AND

There is a brilliant idea for a sci-fi "world of psi" in the roleplaying game Trinity. Since there is so much setting info, it reads almost like a novel... kind of...

It even presents a theory of psi that... well... is something I would guess would be close to the truth if, when, whatever, it is found psi is to be scientifically believed.

Very clever... Check it out.

I am presently studying the history of attempted military and intelligence related applications for ESP research, and would love some tips for stuff to check out if you have any suggestions...

/bamba

/bamba
Huw Collingbourne
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On 2002-08-01 14:31, Bambaladam wrote:
I am presently studying the history of attempted military and intelligence related applications for ESP research, and would love some tips for stuff to check out if you have any suggestions...

Do you know anything about the reports of the CIA's researches into ESP? According to John Marks' book, 'The Search For The Manchurian Candidate' (subtitled: 'The CIA and Mind Control - the secret history of the behavioral Sciences') the CIA set up an Office of Research and Development (ORD) during the '60s to examine all kinds of potential methods of controlling people's minds. Marks states that ORD sponsored work in parapyschology including, specifically: telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokinesis. All this only gets a mention in passing unfortunately (most of the book describes research into mind-altering substances such as LSD), which leaves some big questions about the kind of 'psychic research' the CIA sponsored and how far, if at all, they progressed...

Sounds like the X Files, I know. But apparently Marks compiled his book from information contained in "16,000 pages of documents that the CIA released to (him) under the Freedom of Information Act."

best wishes
Huw
Bambaladam
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Huw,

I have a book, a new one, called the psychic battlefield, which will hopefully shed some light on the CIA thing. I am reading a different one right now, Remote Viewers, about the Fort Meade and SRI remote viewing intel projects. Most of that is NSA or Military ops.

It's quite a good read.

I have also found a book on Soviet ESP research projects. I wonder how well researched these books are... Smile

It's lucky I'm only using them to cannibalise them for ideas for fiction and games....

/grrrr
Mr Secret-ary
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Helpful replies all, my little bibliophiles - the Trinity game instructions sound intriguing, but as a non-'gamie', where would I find those kind of things?

What's this?

Smile Psychoguinnesis.

(Sorry, sorry - why am I doing this? I HATE puns?!?)
Bambaladam
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Hey Secret-ary...

There is a good website for this game at
http://www.white-wolf.com/trinity.html

And to make it even easier on you, the free promo quickstart version can be downloaded from
http://www.white-wolf.com/Download/Pages/Excerpts.html

At the bottom of that page, there is an area called Trinity. Get the Quickstart pdf files 1 through 4.

Getting the actual game is harder as it may be out of print... But a good sci fi or games shop should have a copy lying around.

If you have a forbidden planet nearby, they may carry it or be able to get it for you.

It is an excellent gaming product. I can't recommend it enough. And it has so many different ideas for paradigms and effect scenarios I think it would also be useful reading for every mentalist.

Hope you enjoy the quickstart. And feel free to pm or email me if you have any questions.

/bamba
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