Benoit Blanchard is a graduate of École Polytechnique de Montréal. Although he has never worked in engineering, he has studied economics extensively in the past few years. Cyberbrain: Guardian Angel is the second book in his Cyberbrain series; the first book, Cyberbrain, was published in 2014. He lives in Laval, Quebec.
In the mid-21st century, newborns in the United States are legally required to befitted with a “cyber,” an electronic device that has successfully slashed crime rates by changing the thought patterns of the people who have them.
In Canada, however, cybers are still illegal. Max Wilson, the first man to successfully have his cyber surgically removed, has settled in Canada, seeking a new life and joining the fight to have the law changed in the United States. With Dr. Warren Alston, who removed his cyber and is now teaching other surgeons how to do so as well, he becomes part of an operation to smuggle devices into the US that disable cybers without surgery.
Meanwhile, Patrick Kobayashi, the inventor of the cyber, is taking an active part in Canada’s election campaign in support of Richard Lane, a maverick politician intent on introducing the cyber into the Canadian landscape, against his own party’s wishes.
When a mysterious man calling himself “Guardian Angel” begins threatening Dr. Alston and others trying to stop the spread of the cyber, things take an ominous turn. As efforts redouble in Canada and the United States to stop the insidious threat of the cyber, which the shocking case of one little girl shows may have horrible side effects, the mysterious Guardian Angel resorts to murder and attempted murder. The freedom of individuals to think their own thoughts hangs in the balance as events race to a frightening conclusion.
The United States government’s plan to eradicate crime.
A billionaire doctor’s sinister plot to expand mind control throughout North America under the auspices of the American president.
An ethical neurosurgeon whose purpose in life is to prevent Cyberbrain’s expansion outside the United States.
Max Wilson, a medical school student from Buffalo, is looking forward to saving lives. His peers, however, are pressuring him to consider a lucrative offer from the Cyberbrain Corporation: train as a government-sponsored doctor inserting neural implants, or “cybers,” in the brains of newborns. Cyberbrain—a program designed by billionaire doctor Patrick Kobayashi to eliminate crime by stifling criminal thought right where it starts—in the brain.
Max and his friends were part of first wave of Cyberbrain implants. He’s told time and again that it’s something he should be proud of, but he feels trapped inside his own head. An accident on Canadian soil puts him under the scalpel of Dr. Warren Alston. Alston is a respected neurosurgeon who refused to be a lackey to Kobayashi’s pet project at the beginning of his career. He fled to Canada, where free will was still the law of the land. Alston is recruited years later by Kobayashi to expand Cyberbrain’s operations to Canada, but he sends the billionaire packing.
Alston extracts the cyber from Max’s brain and sends it to a secret lab for study. Alston is convinced Cyberbrain’s implants pose a far greater threat to society at large than merely suppressing criminal thought.
Max has become the only living person to have his cyber removed. He discovers the true meaning of free will, and he understands why he felt trapped inside his head. Max refuses to submit to a direct order for a new implant; he is a wanted man. But Max is convinced that anyone who has undergone a neural implant must have their cyber removed, beginning with his girlfriend, Vanessa. With Dr. Alston’s help, Max is prepared to risk arrest to bring Vanessa across the border.
Will Dr. Alston’s war on Cyberbrain prove that Kobayashi has something far more menacing in mind?
Will Max be able to convince Vanessa that free will is far more desirable than suppressed thought?