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Brain Wave

by Poul Anderson

Cover artist: Richard Powers

Publisher: Ballantine

Pub year: 1954

Cover price: 35¢


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Book detail for Brain Wave

Cover tagline

The provocative novel of the future when intelligence begins at an I.Q. of 150!

Back cover text

Suppose something happened that could change you into a genius overnight. Suppose, further, that this quickening of wits affected every animate creature — not just all humans (even down to the moron level) — but hogs, dogs, chimps — even rabbits.

This is the startling idea with which Brain Wave begins. The immediate result is a world in which the average man is a genius and an I.Q. of 150 is a sign of feeble-mindedness. But that's only the beginning. For the consequences — both for good and for evil — are as unexpected as they are stimulating.

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Interior text

The day the changes began...

At dawn the rabbit put his nose to the bars of his trap, thrust upward — and was free. From now on Man's dominance over the animal world was ended.

Before breakfast, a ten-year-old kid started fiddling around with graphs all by himself — and invented differential calculus. Across the nation the entire school system became suddenly obsolete.

By mid-afternoon Peter Corinth's office at the Institute for Advanced Study was humming with excitement. The first reports were in, and Corinth whistled as he thought about the implications. It was still too early for the world to realize what had happened. But tomorrow, Pete thought, tomorrow they'd really start hearing about it.

Ready or not, mankind was on its way to a stupendous mental binge. A new age was coming — more exciting and more intense — and nothing would ever be the same again.