Wouldn’t it be great if we could cure depression? The automatic answer to that is yes for basically anyone that’s suffered from it. Depression is a soul-blackening, mind-numbing, emotion-pummeling destroyer of happiness. No one ever wants to be depressed. There are no positives that can be found in it. So the idea of being able to cure depression is fantastic, right? Well, in Caresaway, D.J. Cockburn takes a slightly different view on it.
What if one of the side effects from the pill that could cure depression was that it turned you into a psychopath? Well, first off, let’s be clear about what a psychopath is. Psychopaths aren’t necessarily mass murderers. Key traits of psychopathy are a lack of empathy, not feeling guilt, selfishness, and the ability to charm the pants off other people to get what you want. (Did that make anyone in particular pop to mind? People with psychopathic tendencies aren’t as rare as you think they are.) Look at who currently holds the highest electable office in the United States, and think about it for a second.
People with psychopathic tendencies make great businessmen, don’t they? When you’re willing to do whatever you need to get ahead, no matter what the fallout is, you can go far in business. There are definitely people with psychopathic tendencies running companies around the world today. But, as in Caresaway, what if the secret got out? What if everyone who wanted to get ahead was willing to turn into a psychopath if it meant getting ahead in business?
Caresaway is an intriguing speculative fiction novel because it examines what this would mean on both a personal and worldwide level. It is told from the viewpoint of the man who created the drug. The creator suffered from depression himself. It’s interesting to watch his arc in this novelette and consider what decisions you might make if you were him.
Overall, Caresaway is a good read if you enjoy speculative fiction. It definitely made me sit back in my seat and think about the situation for a bit afterward.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review consideration.