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The Genius Plague

de David Walton

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1777121,345 (3.49)3
"What if the pandemic you thought would kill you made you more intelligent instead? In the Amazon jungle, a disease is spreading. To those who survive, it grants enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. But the miracle may be the sinister survival mechanism of a fungal organism, manipulating the infected into serving it. Paul Johns, a mycologist, is convinced the fungal host is the next stage of human evolution, while his brother Neil, an analyst at the NSA, is committed to its destruction. Is the human race the master in this symbiotic relationship, or are we becoming the pawns of a subtly dominating and utterly alien intelligence?"--"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"--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Surprisingly good sci-fi thriller about free will, the government's relationship to citizens, and human enhancement. Essentially, a fungal plague enhances those infected, but at a very high cost.
Would/will probably make an excellent movie. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Fast-paced and nerdy in a "cocky newbie to the NSA fights an intelligent Mycelium plague" vein. :)

The initial premise was what brought me to the book and that still stands. The fungus is mimicking our brains from within our brains and makes us smarter... with the pitfall that it only behaves to improve its own survival.

I might have preferred an all-out hard SF going much deeper into a fully-successful plague, but hitting the breaks like this was fun enough for a single novel. The alternative might have become a doorstopper and I might have loved that, too, but alas... this is only my opinion. :)

What we do have is a cocky bright kid getting into a ton of trouble who does everything he can to save the world. It's really not bad. It's smart. Interesting. Tons of great science and ideas were thrown about for all you mushroom lovers out there. It's a real smorgasbord. :)

I may not like the end so much, but I really enjoyed the ride getting there. Walton's writing is fast-paced and as cocky as his MC. It's designed to be popcorn fiction and for the most part, it fits the bill perfectly. :)

Now, where's my salad? I'm in the mood for a few whitecaps. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This new author is quite the find. Very engaging flawed characters, a rip roaring yarn, although the mind control fungus part got pretty outlandish in parts. On the whole really enjoyed it though and certainly couldn’t put it down. ( )
  Matt_B | May 10, 2019 |
This is one of those books that I regret finishing... It's yet another "mediocre white dude inadvertently saves the world, largely because of a series of implausible coincidences, and gets the girl who is way more competent than him" story. In this case, the reason the world needs saving is that a mind-controlling fungus has taken over most of humanity. I thought it might be interesting because fungi are pretty fascinating, but there's no plausible science here at all. So, all in all, the story is predictable, the characters are forgettable, and you can't think too hard about the story because there are plot holes and it relies way too heavily on implausible coincidences. ( )
  Gwendydd | Jul 8, 2018 |
Following the M.R. Carey/Mira Grant path, Walton posits a fungal infection that gives humans greater intelligence and perception, but also seems to turn them towards appalling violence. In thriller form, the hero just happens to work for the NSA and have a mycologist brother who’s at the center of the happenings. It’s a page-turner, but I’d honestly forgotten what it was like to read such a dude-centric book. The protagonist isn’t sexist as such, but the women are there to relate to him as help, mom (real or surrogate), or potential girlfriend, even when they also have jobs of their own. ( )
  rivkat | May 7, 2018 |
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"What if the pandemic you thought would kill you made you more intelligent instead? In the Amazon jungle, a disease is spreading. To those who survive, it grants enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. But the miracle may be the sinister survival mechanism of a fungal organism, manipulating the infected into serving it. Paul Johns, a mycologist, is convinced the fungal host is the next stage of human evolution, while his brother Neil, an analyst at the NSA, is committed to its destruction. Is the human race the master in this symbiotic relationship, or are we becoming the pawns of a subtly dominating and utterly alien intelligence?"--"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"--

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