Mindplayers are tomorrow's psychoanalysts, linked directly to their patients using sophisticated machinery attached to the optic nerve. In one-to-one Mindplay contact, you can be inside someone else's head, wandering the landscapes of their consciousness. Allie is a sensation-seeking young woman, obtaining illicit thrills from her shady friend Jerry Wirerammer. But Allie goes badly astray when Jerry supplies her with a "madcap" - a device that lets you temporarily and harmlessly experience psychosis. There's something wrong with Jerry's madcap, and the psychosis doesn't go away when it's disconnected. Allie ends up undergoing treatment at a "dry-cleaner", and she is faced with a stark choice - jail, for her illegal use of the madcap; or training to become a Mindplayer herself.
During training Allie becomes familiar with the Pool - a cohesive, though shifting mental landscape jointly constructed by a number of minds; and more disturbingly encounters McFlor, who has been mind-wiped, so that his adult body is inhabited by a mind only two hours old. And as a fully-fledged Mindplayer Allie has to choose between the many specialist options open to her - Reality Affixing or Pathosfinding; Thrillseeking or Dreamfeeding.