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Mind Games Paperback – April 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Thieme has used his skills as a writer and speaker for many years. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Richard taught literature and writing at the University of Illinois, was an Episcopal priest for sixteen years, and has since 1993 traveled the world as a professional speaker, enlightening audiences from Berlin to Brisbane, Amsterdam to Auckland, on the impacts of various technologies on human identity, spirituality/religion, and security and intelligence. He also speaks about creativity, reinventing ourselves, and biohacking, the porting of hacking skills to biotechnology. His landmark talk, "UFOlogy 101," illuminates a much-maligned domain. His pre-blog column, "Islands in the Clickstream," was distributed to thousands of subscribers in sixty countries before collection as a book by Syngress, a division of Elsevier. His work has been taught at universities in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States. He lives with his wife, Shirley, in Fox Point, Wisconsin and can be reached at www.thiemeworks.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Duncan Long Publications (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938326244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938326243
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Warthog on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reviewing Mind Games by Richard Thieme is a somewhat awkward task, in large part because the usual topics of such a review (plot, character development, writing style, narrative structure, etc.) seem to be beside the point. It's not that Thieme is a bad writer. Quite the contrary, he's quite capable, and the book is full of turns of phrase and extremely observant attention to the little details that make a lightly sketched scene turn real in one's mind. No, it's more that as with writers such as Philip K. Dick, the stories Thieme presents are delivery vehicles for ideas that will burrow into your mind and if one is fortunate, set your thoughts on their own "connect the dots" mission to destinations unknown.

The individual stories in this collection stand well on their own, but taken as a whole, they present a sort of fractal message to the reader from the mind of Thieme. Yes, they are stories, but they are also an interwoven reiteration of basic concepts at multiple levels of granularity. As I said, fractal - delve down to detail, the pattern is there. Zoom out to macro level, the pattern repeats. The concepts that Thieme puts forth about how the world works, the interaction between people, the relationship of people to technology, information and control, the nature of spirituality, and all the rest are everywhere one looks, if one chooses to notice.

The question is whether one sees the message, and one's ability to discern the message, whether or not one fully accepts it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Arrigo on May 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This extraordinary book of short stories draws the reader into multiple levels of reality and multiple dimensions. The settings are mostly futuristic, as in engineered societies. But the principles of social engineering are laid bare, inducing the reader to reflect on current values, desires, and markers of progress.

The story that resonates most with me is a subtle account of a married couple's evening out with friends, "Incident at Wolf Cave." On return home at night -- by the husband/narrator's account --they are witness to UFOs over a lake. Next day, when the husband remarks on the sighting, the wife denies it. This incident interrupts the psychic flow between them. A UFO story, yes, but who has not felt this closing of the door when reality changes for one friend but not another?

The form of the book, consonant with the theme, veers into another dimension of literature. The short introduction to each story describes the author's relevant life experiences, quests, or critiques. Rather than demystifying the story, the author thereby locks the reader more securely into the mystery of the story. Artist Duncan Long has also provided a sort of portrait introduction to each story, in which the boundary between line drawing and photograph cannot be discerned -- another play on the junctures of different realities. Long concludes the portrait series with mixed-media images of the author, Thieme, and the illustrator, Long himself, as if to render them third-person characters in the book as well as first-person creators of the book.

Liking and disliking is maybe not the right attitudinal axis for this book. Better: Are we game for these uncomfortable mental adventures in consciousness and the nature of reality?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Bauer on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is exactly how I hoped it might be: not so much Richard Thieme essays (much as I enjoy those!) in fictional format, but simply excellent stories that happen to concern reality-manipulation, the elusiveness and relativity of truth, etc., each told in a variety of voices that quite convincingly and entertainingly appear to belong, at key moments, to other people.

(That's the trick with fiction, isn't it? Without convincing characters, it's just monologue.)

Having said all that, if you've ever seen Richard speak or have read his essays online, the themes in this book will be familiar to you, as will the wit, credibility, intellectual rigor, and warmth that shine through. But again, I think you'll enjoy these stories for their own narrative sake.

And if you aren't familiar with Richard's work, you're in for a treat. Come for the space-aliens and spies; stay for the cognitive workout!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marlin Pohlman on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was a surprise in that I entered into the reading seeking answers and came away with more questions. The narrative is excellent interpersonal drama; the UFO encounter at the lake brings out the true personal impact of the abduction experience. The experience with extra physical entities and the cooperation of quasi-governmental authorities resonates with the reports of other genre authors but is presented in a more fictional narrative which permits insertion of key details that are occasionally dropped by more featured Authors. It is my hope that Richard is invited to one of the late night radio programs and interviewed by George Noory or Art Bell. I know Richard cannot speak on some of his inspirations but after reading this I am more curious about the real life experience of Richard Theme.
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