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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Disney Therapy  
  Letting people retreat to a simpler time, for their mental health.  

And what happened to the girl we last saw speaking to an inhuman golem in a padded cell off the Leystrasse, hearing things no human ear was meant to hear, her insides all atremble? How came this quivering wreck, freshly tossed by the twin tempests of another botched suicide attempt and the CC's ham-fisted attempt to "cure" her, to her present tranquility? How did the young Modern butterfly with the ragged wings retromorphose into the plain but outwardly-stable Victorian caterpillar? She did it one day at a time. As I had hinted to Brenda, no matter how much the governing boards might say concerning the functions of the historical disneys, an unexpected and unmentioned side benefit they had provided was to work as sanctuaries-all right, as very big un-fenced asylums-for the societally and mentally shell-shocked. In Texas and the other places like it, we could cease our unfruitful baying at our several lunatic moons and, without therapy per se, retire to a quieter, gentler time. Living there was therapy in itself. For some, the prescription would have to be carried on forever; for others, an occasional dose was enough. It wasn't established yet which applied to me.
From Steel Beach, by John Varley.
Published by Ace Putnam in 1992
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