Brain Wave [Poul Anderson, Tom Weiner] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. For millions of years, the part of the galaxy containing our solar. So Brain Wave’s brevity can in all likelihood be attributed to editorial requirements of the time that shackled SF writers’ imaginations to guidelines dictated by the. (Richard Powers’ cover for the edition) /5 (Vaguely Good) I have long been a fan of Poul Anderson’s functionalist yet engaging SF.

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Brain Wave by Poul Anderson. In his story, human civilization brainwavr drastically, and mostly not in positive ways. The story follows several characters: Each of these characters experiences a large jump in IQ which causes a change in their circumstances. Each andeerson them deals with this change differently as Poul Anderson explores what might happen to a society that is suddenly full of people who are geniuses and animals who are rising up to challenge us.

on poul anderson’s brain wave – Neal Umphred Dot Com

The first problem is the characters — none are likeable or inherently interesting with the possible exception of Archie Brock. Sheila, the vapid housewife, is especially odious but I tend to bristle at all vapid housewife characters written by old male SF writers — is that really how they thought of women back then?

Another problem is that I had a hard time believing in the consequences that Anderson foretells for a world with smarter people. He seems to be suggesting that the only people who will be andsrson happy in their jobs will be scientists and artists for these are the only rewarding jobs for really smart people.

Therefore, blue-collar workers who are now suddenly smart will abandon their jobs and society will collapse. He seems to be suggesting that laborers are not as smart as scientists, which is kind of pretentious and certainly not accurate.

I agreed with Anderson on a couple of important points — a new psychology would be needed for a human race that is smarter than ours. If the purpose of intelligence is to adapt to the environment, what brxinwave when the environment has to adapt to intelligence?

Weiner has a great voice for old science fiction. How refreshing for me, then, to come across a book that has, as its central conceit, the notion that mankind might someday grow vastly MORE intelligent… and not just mankind, but all sentient brainwafe on Earth, as well. As Brain Wave begins, Earth is finally emerging from this light-years-wide field, with the result that the IQs of most human beings quadruple, to aroundand even the animals of the field become vastly more intelligent.

Long considered a classic of sorts, today, Brain Wave seems to enjoy a mixed reputation.

on poul anderson’s brain wave

Even indoors, he could hear andrrson grinding against the shore, tumbling rocks, grinding away the world like the teeth of time. You take a typical human, a worker in factory or office, his mind dulled to a collection of verbal reflexes, his future a day-to-day plodding which offered him no more than a chance to fill his belly and be anesthetized by a movie or his television — more and bigger automobiles, more and brighter plastics, onward and upward with the American Way pokl Life.


Then suddenly, almost overnight, human intelligence had exploded toward fantastic heights. An entire new cosmos opened before this man, visions, realizations, thought boiling unbidden within him.

He saw the miserable inadequacy of his life, the triviality of his work, the narrow and meaningless limits of his braunwave and conventions — and he resigned….

Curiously, mankind even manages to invent a new shorthand language for itself after the change, incorporating gestures and other visual cues, and Anderson repeatedly lets us see this new language at work, employing words in parentheses to indicate what is unspoken, and words in italics to indicate what is merely thought.

I know that a lot of readers here prefer to listen to audiobooks rather than to beainwave in the traditional sense, but feel that Brain Wavefor this very reason, simply could not work as an audiobook.

Good as it is, Brain Wave yet comes to us today with some minor problems. I am hardly the first reader to acknowledge that the book is a little on the short side, especially for anedrson story anxerson universal in scope and far reaching in consequence.

Still, what we have here is fairly dynamite: Indeed, the final chapter even left me a little misty eyed.

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson

Thus, I do highly recommend Brain Wave to all readers. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She pol to view the world in a different way.

She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue.

Anderwon prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. After a “misspent youth” of steady and incessant doses of Conan the Barbarian, Doc Savage and any and all forms of fantasy and sci-fi literature, Sandy has changed little in the four decades since.

Brain Wave

His favorite author these days is H. Rider Haggardwith whom he feels a strange kinship — although Sandy is not English or a manored gentleman of the 19th century — and his favorite reading matter consists of sci-fi, fantasy and horror Sandy is also a devoted buff of classic Hollywood and foreign films, and has reviewed extensively on the IMDb under the handle “ferbs To equate all manual blue-collar work with low intelligence or low-set goals is a bit shallow.

Anderson apparently never tried to build a house, rebuild a car engine, create a musical instrument or plant and harvest braihwave crop, or he would have known better. Is he talking about boring office jobs? Of course, it wasso I guess he can be forgiven for having a snobbish view of intelligence. Agreeing with Marion, I bristled at the generalization that people who do blue collar jobs are not as intelligent as scientists.

Maybe his mother never told him he could be a scientist. Maybe the guy who picks up my puol likes having a job that is over at the end of the day so he can go bowling or spend more time with his kids while I think about my job constantly and am defined by it. Related to this, the other aspect of the novel that bothered me was the idea that blue collar work is not intelligent or creative.

I think the educational-elitism is very much a product of that time. Oh, and thank you for the thoughts about the audiobook. Surely, food for thought. As for the audiobooks, since I have never listened to one, I will have to take your word on this, Kat. I have a cousin who got his degree in nuclear engineering, worked at a power plant for about 6 months. Hated working inside, in front of a computer all day, and went back to work on the family farm. Your email address will not be published.


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Best of the Years Fun! It is also a novel about equality and what happens when the hierarchical structures by which we arrange our daily lives disappear.

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I found it fascinating! I just was annoyed at some of the elitism expressed. Cancel reply Or login to FanLit brqinwave We have reviewed fantasy, science fiction and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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Thank you for your support! Brings this trilogy to a merciful end by Email Anon 2. His characters are so over the top stereotypical they come across as comic book villains. He also reuses characters. And a reincarnated ‘s Gangster? He should have skipped the entire soul-reincarnation bit. It’s frustrating because Hamilton creates incredible imaginative worlds that I want to spend […]. I’ve got to read this. I love his books, and his last trilogy was amazing. Thank you for reading my review, Marion!

This series is the one that started my obsession with comic books. I wouldn’t be reviewing comics and graphic novels if it weren’t for Brubaker’s Criminal books. There are seven volumes total in the series so far. Rbainwave of them are top-notch. Crown of Feathers was probably my favorite read of It doesn’t release until February, but I was fortunate enough to get an arc through work, and I loved it!

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