Ed. note: This post originally appeared on http://sleightsofmind.com/blog.“The law says that there is only one possible Barth in all the world. And you aren’t it. You’re just a number. And a letter. The letter H.”
Martin Barth is a man with an insatiable appetite and a serious yo-yoing weight problem. Technology and wealth have helped him before, but in the end he must face the unforeseen consequences of his relentless pursuit of pleasure, youth and an ideal BMI.
Orson Scott Card said that he wrote Fat Farm in frustration with his own struggles with weight gain and loss. The story is part of the collection Maps in a Mirror, and a comic book version appears in Orson Scott Card’s InterGalacticMedicineShow.
Fat Farm touches upon multiple neuroscience themes, including the nature of self, consciousness, and perhaps most intriguingly, habit formation and maintenance.
For extra credit, check out our FatTuesday posts, where we discuss the neuroscience and psychology of hunger, satiety, weight gain and weight loss.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Susana Martinez-Conde is a professor of opthalmology, neurology, and physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is author of the Prisma Prize-winning Sleights of Mind, along with Stephen L. Macknik and Sandra Blakeslee. Their forthcoming book, Champions of Illusion, will be published by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.