The short story “HostBods” by Tendai Huchu was published for the first time in 2014.
Simon was forced to rent his body to pay for his brother’s medical care. His work is a real form of servitude in which his clients transfer their mind into his body for various reasons, sometimes immoral. This has a number of long-term consequences and when his contract is bought by a rich old man with health problems Simon starts remembering how his body was used.
“HostBods” explores the possible consequences of a technology that allows to temporarily transfer the mind of a person into the body of another one. There would be both opportunities and risks but some side effects for the host could add some complications.
Simon is a host indicated by the code 4401, whose contract was bought by a rich old man. The problem is that he’s not supposed to remember anything of what happened to his body when it’s used by his client, however some memories started remaining in his brain after the symbiosis.
After a beginning that gives the reader a presentation of Simon’s situation, the story turns into a series of flash memories of what happens to his body during the symbiosis. The memory of his client’s intentions is disturbing because he wants to take advantage of a gray area in the law to circumvent it.
The tone becomes really dark in a story focused on the human side describing possible ways to exploit the mind swap technology. To an elderly and sick person it can create new opportunities for interaction but if a client’s intentions are negative how far can he go?
Tendai Huchu shows both a positive and a negative use of the mind swap technology. Through the memories that remain in Simon’s brain, he also tells how the protagonist ends up being involved in the his client’s family’s affairs with quite unexpected consequences.
In the end, there are consequences at various levels, from the practical ones to the legal ones with many ethical and moral considerations. How long would it take for a society to adapt to a technology that has a strong influence on human activities? In a short story, the author is able to show various ramifications derived from the possibility of having host bodies and that’s why I recommend reading “HostBods”. It’s also available in an ebook edition on Amazon USA, Amazon UK and Amazon Canada.