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The Genius Plague
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Pyr 2017
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WINNER of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best NovelA WALL STREET JOURNAL Best Science Fiction Book of 2017In this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn't have before. But that's not the only pattern—the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret and unexplained alliance between governments that have traditionally been enemies. Meanwhile Paul becomes increasingly secretive and erratic. Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction. Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the stakes: the free will of every human on earth. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/03/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781633883444
ASIN:
B01MT6ZAS5
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APA Citation (style guide)

David Walton. (2017). The Genius Plague. Pyr.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

David Walton. 2017. The Genius Plague. Pyr.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

David Walton, The Genius Plague. Pyr, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

David Walton. The Genius Plague. Pyr, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Sep 06, 2018 17:22:17
Date Updated:
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • fileAs: Walton, David
      • bioText: David Walton is the author of six novels and recipient of the Philip K. Dick Award for his first novel, Terminal Mind. Superposition and Supersymmetry are quantum physics murder mysteries. He is also the author of Quintessence, a science fantasy in which the Earth is really flat, and its sequel, Quintessence Sky. David lives a double life as a top secret engineer working with the US intelligence community by day, and the mild-mannered father of seven children at night.
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publishDate
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shortDescription
WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU MAKES YOU SMARTER
In this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.
Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But when he recovers, it is with enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have fallen ill and recovered more intelligent than they were before.

But that's not the only pattern—the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret, and unexplained alliance between governments that have...
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title
The Genius Plague
fullDescription
WINNER of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best Novel
A WALL STREET JOURNAL Best Science Fiction Book of 2017

In this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.
Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn't have before.

But that's not the only pattern—the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret and unexplained alliance between governments that have traditionally been enemies. Meanwhile Paul becomes increasingly secretive and erratic.

Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction. Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the stakes: the free will of every human on earth. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?
sortTitle
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: WALL STREET JOURNAL
      • content: "This is great sci-fi, constantly pushing new facts and new thoughts at you, and--most important--weaving them into a plot as well.... Walton keeps the ideas, sensations and plot twists coming. Twenty pages from the end, you still don't know who will win--or who deserves to. With this book and his earlier "quantum" stories, Walton has brought hard sci-fi roaring back to life."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 14, 2017
        Walton (Superposition) trades quantum weirdness for the psychotropic action of botanical mind control in this mind-bending ecothriller that posits an Amazonian fungus is out to run the world. Neil Johns, an overly clever rebel, wants to follow in his father’s code-breaking footsteps at the NSA. To impress a high-ranking manager of a misfit group, he cracks the mystery of some indecipherable South American messages. At the same time, his older brother Paul, a mycologist, escapes Brazilian terrorists only to fall ill from a fungal infection. Soon, Paul and other infected folks show similar symptoms of increased intelligence and a sudden desire to protect the rainforest. Inevitably, Neil becomes infected and must decide how to use his powers. This original and frightening ecological response to human activity dances tantalizingly on the edge of believability. Adding to questions of species survival are chewy concepts that touch on individual choice and free will, such as a cure for Alzheimer’s that steals away individuality. The persistence of the threat of mind control leaves the ending open to interpretation. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2017
        When mycologist Paul Johns returns home to Maryland from the Amazon rain forest in Walton's (Supersymmetry, 2015, etc.) latest, he is a changed man.After recovering from a severe case of fungal pneumonia, the 21-year old fungi expert is markedly more intelligent; he suddenly has an eidetic memory and radically enhanced communication abilities--but something is off. The spores he breathed in while traveling have taken root in the linings of his lungs and spread throughout his body, and the same thing is happening to thousands of other people who've come in contact with the fungus; they are now connected together in a vast organic neural network. But the seemingly symbiotic relationship between fungi and human may not be the next evolutionary step in human development, as Johns thinks. Those infected by the spores have masterminded assassinations of the political leaders of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, and the number of people afflicted by the mind-altering infection is growing exponentially by the day. Paul's brother, Neil, following in their father's cryptologist footsteps, recently landed a job with the National Security Agency. Charged with decoding encrypted messages originating from the Amazon area, he begins putting together the pieces of a mind-blowing conspiracy that could wipe humankind off the face of the Earth. Paired with relentless pacing, an action-packed narrative, and a cast of interesting characters, Walton's fluid writing style and tightly constructed plot produce a virtually un-put-down-able read. The only minor criticisms are a few implausible sequences (like Neil getting hired by the NSA with no college degree) and a conclusion that seems a bit rushed. Tonally the love child of Crichton's The Andromeda Strain and Aldiss' SF classic Hothouse, this is a page-turner of the highest order.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 15, 2017
        If there was a drug you could take that would make you immensely more intelligent, would you take it? Now what if that drug was in fact an infection that might kill you? Brothers Neil and Paul Johns have very different answers to these questions. Paul, the mycologist who encountered this fungal plague firsthand in the Amazon, feels it is man's next step in evolution. Neil, the newly hired analyst at the NSA, is certain that something far more insidious is at work, and that humanity is being subverted rather than uplifted. Neil and his colleagues race against time and an enemy that is impossible to detect. The world goes from normal to nearly on the brink of collapse and nuclear war in a matter of days. Somehow, those infected by the plague seem to have almost prescient knowledge of the government's every move. Once a reader picks up Walton's latest whirlwind sf thriller, she will not be able to put it down.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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