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Brain Wave

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Brain Wave

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What if we were all designed to be smarter than we actually are? That is the premise of master science fiction novelist Poul Anderson's 1954 debut work, Brain Wave. Unbeknown to its inhabitants, the...
What if we were all designed to be smarter than we actually are? That is the premise of master science fiction novelist Poul Anderson's 1954 debut work, Brain Wave. Unbeknown to its inhabitants, the...
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Description-
  • What if we were all designed to be smarter than we actually are? That is the premise of master science fiction novelist Poul Anderson's 1954 debut work, Brain Wave. Unbeknown to its inhabitants, the solar system has for millions of years been caught in a force field that has had the effect of supressing intelligence. When in the course of normal galactic movement the solar system breaks free of the force field that has held it in its sway for so long, gone are the inhibiting effects and a remarkable change begins to sweep across the earth.

    In fact, the entire world is turned upside-down and Anderson's novel is devoted to detailing the sometimes surprising, sometimes chilling aftereffects of this watershed event. In one of the novel's opening scenes, Archie Brock, a mentally disabled man, finds himself suddenly awash in new kinds of thought as he ponders the night sky. In another scene, a young boy on a summer break works out the basic fundamental foundations of calculus before breakfast. Human life is dramatically transformed, as people with IQs of 400 find themselves living within social structures and institutions designed for people of considerably lower intelligence. There are others who refuse to accept what has happened and instead band together in a rebellion against the new order.

    Brain Wave is a fascinating "what if" novel and an exploration into the ways in which human society is organized and the assumptions that are made about how we value life. It is also a novel about equality and what happens when the hierarchical structures that we know and arrange our lives by finally disappear.

 
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About the Author-
  • Acclaimed science fiction writer Poul Anderson was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania in 1926. After earning a degree in physics from the University of Minnesota, he moved to San Francisco where he lived for the rest of his life with his wife and writing partner Karen.

    Anderson was a prolific writer, with over 100 novels to his credit. His unique perspective was one informed by a deep understanding of science as well as an interest in Norse mythology. While he wrote fantasy novels, including The Broken Sword (1954), Three Hearts and Three Lions (1961) and A Midsummer Tempest (1974), his reputation rests primarily on the strength of his science fiction. His first SF novel was 1954's Brainwave, and it is considered by many to be a classic of the genre. He often wrote series of novels, including the popular "Time Patrol" works, beginning with 1981's Guardians of Time. He also wrote novellas and many short stories over the course of his writing career.

    His works won numerous science fiction prizes including three Hugo and seven Nebula awards, but it is perhaps for his 1970 novel Tau Zero that he will be best remembered. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and winner of the Science Fiction Writers' Association's prestigious Grandmaster Award, Anderson continued to write engaging and masterful science fiction novels right up to his death in 2001. His last novel, Genesis, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year 2000.
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    RosettaBooks
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