"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford
||A spinal anesthetic that allows the reformation of personality.
|On one occasion I noted that a dog, subjected to hypomatrin at a
time when his fellows engaged in an orgy of snarling and fighting,
emerged from the experiment with a surly, growling nature he had not
The results were unbelievable. One man, who had never sung a note, was made into a devotee of music through being submitted to orchestral strains while his senses slumbered beneath the anaesthetic. Another man, whose dissipated features proclaimed him to be a roue, became as moral as a monk after absorbing the anaesthetic in the atmosphere of a cloister; still another abandoned a life of thievery in favor of philanthropic work; others,
again, exchanged hatred for love, or listlessness for ambition, or a wolf-like aggressiveness for the gentleness of the dove.
And so at last my goal had been attained. At last I was able to change human nature at will. What magnificent hopes, what unlimited vistas of advancement this offered!
...Within a few weeks of the establishment of the first clinic, my anassthetic had become widely fashionable; within a few weeks, it was as stylish to change one’s character as to discard last year’s coat.
...business concerns were observing with alarm that their clerks were deserting in order to become musical composers or stars of vaudeville; factory managers were shouting vain appeals to check the drift of their employees toward science and the seven arts; hospital heads were becoming alarmed at the tendency of physicians and nurses to graduate into bond salesmanship and banking; the principals of schools and colleges were making an effort to restrain their teaching staffs from the allurement of the concert stage, the cabaret, and the dance hall ; ministers of leading congregations were startling their flocks by finding that their real calling was in the domain of the night club; bootleggers were becoming politicians, politicians were becoming scholars, scholars were becoming farmers, farmers were becoming captains of industry, and captains of industry were deserting their desks to become professional golfers. All in all, during that first year of hypomatrin, we witnessed the greatest and strangest labor “turn-over” ever known to history.
|From The Confession of Dr. DeKalb,
by Stanton A. Coblentz.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1939
Additional resources -
Compare to dominator from The End of the Line (1951) by James Schmitz.
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