The "What if" Blog

ReInception was born from a simple question:  What if we had the technology to modify human behavior? Of course, initially, the technology would be used for a noble cause:  A father trying to spare other parents the pain of losing a child to addiction, for example. But human nature being what it is, we won’t stop there. We’ll go too far. In this blog, I will explore all kinds of What Ifs, from science to law to anything we can speculate about. If you are wondering about something, please post your questions here and maybe I will feature your musings in a blog post or even have you write as a guest blogger!

What If Creators Turn Against Their Creations?

By Sarena Straus / July 19, 2023 /

At the heart of ReInception is a creator who invents a technology to help people, but comes to regret his invention when it’s put to unintended use. In the way that life often imitates Science Fiction, Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, who built a neural net in 2012, recently quit his job with Google and now speaks…

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Book Recommendations for Everyone On Your List

By Sarena Straus / November 23, 2022 /

Books make the best gifts! Here are some recommendations for everyone on your list. I have my personal recommendations, as well as a few from my voracious reader teenagers. There’s a good mix of some suggestions by better known authors (but maybe not their well-known books), as well as some from smaller presses that are…

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Guest Blog at

By Sarena Straus / October 27, 2022 /

Head on over to to check out my guest blog: The best science fiction novels with kick ass female characters If you aren’t familiar with Shepherds, it’s a great resource for discovering new novels based on all kinds of quirky lists. You can input just about any combination of things that you love and…

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What if we had the technology to guarantee consent?

By Sarena Straus / October 21, 2022 /

As a former sex crimes prosecutor, I think about consent a lot. I wonder, as technology evolves, how that will impact consent and what that will mean for relationships. When we have technology embedded in our bodies, including ones that can record verbal and bodily responses, or that can capture video, what will that mean…

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What If We Lacked Autonomy Over Our Reproductive Rights?

By Sarena Straus / August 17, 2022 /

Future Science Fiction heavily contemplates unintended consequences. As an attorney, I think a lot about this. One of the things I imagine in my forthcoming novel, ReINCEPTION, is the unintended consequences of the government controlling reproductive rights. Today in the US, we are talking about our government’s right to determine whether women can terminate pregnancy. …

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What If There Were a Magic Pill?

By Sarena Straus / May 2, 2022 /

Asking “What If” is a great way to start brainstorming book ideas. I began envisioning the 2126 world of ReInception while reading the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg at the same time that I stumbled upon an article on transcranial magnetic stimulation. Putting the two together, I wondered, “What if we had…

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