Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Poul Anderson, Brain Wave (London, 1977).

Brain Wave might be Poul Anderson's most condensed text. By "condensed," I mean much content in few words. Entire chapters are summaries of consequences of the novel's premise. My summaries are hyper-condensations.

Quicker, intenser neuronic interactions increase intelligence. Do they also increase esp, assuming the latter exists? Yes. Sensitives provide military intelligence during revolutions in Soviet countries. American researchers no longer doubt that telepathy exists and will have to be investigated.

When a "prophet" arrives on p. 119, we expect another fanatic like the earlier prophet of the Third Ba'al. Instead, a scholar has studied and taught others how to use their enhanced minds:

to keep blood flowing warmly even when the ground is covered with snow;
to make wounds stop hurting and bleeding;
to communicate with and befriend animals;
to remember every detail of every experience;
to control feelings and wishes;
to talk without speech;
to reason accurately.

This is yoga, meditation, telepathy and philosophy. Corinth learns control of feelings because of a shock in space. He realizes that others will also learn it and this chapter tells us that some already had.

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